Continental Olympic qualifying tournaments are all over and after months of competitions, nine teams have already booked a ticket to London next year for the 2012 Olympic Men’s Basketball Competition.
USA, who will be defending the title they won in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will be joined by host Great Britain, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Tunisia, and China in the Olympic Men’s Basketball tourney.
USA did not compete in their continental qualifier but they have already assured themselves a ticket to London by winning the gold medal in the 2010 World Basketball Championship, while Great Britain, as host, was awarded an automatic qualification by FIBA.
Spain, as expected, also earned an Olympic slot and with their star-studded roster, it is not a surprise. Bannered by several NBA players, Spain defeated France, 98-85, in the finals to rule the EuroBasket Men 2011. Despite absorbing a finals defeat, France also earned the right to play in the 2012 London Olympics.
Argentina, the 2004 Olympic champions, will also be in London next year after a triumphant campaign in the FIBA Americas Championship for Men, along with Brazil, who finished second in the tournament that was held in Argentina.
Australia, on the other hand, also booked a ticket to London next year after dominating arch-rival New Zealand in a three-game series, which was the official FIBA Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Meanwhile, Tunisia is a surprising qualifier and it was also surprising based on the way they did it. Coming out of nowhere, the Tunisians took down one favorite after another including perennial African champions Angola in the finals of the AfroBasket Men 2011.
China, a traditional Asian powerhouse, will also play in the Olympics once again after retaining the Asian title by ruling the 26th FIBA Asia Championship for Men in Wuhan, China. The Chinese squad, who was led by NBA player Yi Jianlian, escaped with a thrilling win over Jordan to bag the gold medal in front of their hometown crowd.
Nine teams have already earned a sure ticket to London next year, while 12 other teams will battle it out for the three remaining slots.
FIBA Europe’s Greece, Lithuania, Macedonia, Russia, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Jordan, Korea, Angola, Nigeria, and New Zealand will collide for the three remaining slots in next year’s FIBA Olympic Basketball Qualifying Tournament.
2012 London Olympics Men’s Basketball Qualifiers
- Great Britain
- Top Three Finishers in 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament