GRAZ (Austria) – And breathe… The FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament was everything we wished for and so much more. The passion, the pain, and everything in between. That is the beauty of Olympic qualifying. 

After 94 games over 5 days, we now have 14 qualified teams going to Tokyo on the men’s and women’s sides.

Here is a closer look at the teams that have qualified and how they got there.

 

Men’s Qualifiers 

Serbia
How they qualified: FIBA 3×3 Ranking
Dusan Bulut and Serbia are still one of the teams to beat and they had the luxury of watching their future Olympic opponents go to work in Graz. 

Russian Olympic Committee 
How they qualified: FIBA 3×3 Ranking
The 2019 European Games gold medalists have been waiting patiently for their chance to win on the Olympic stage.

China
How they qualified: FIBA 3×3 Ranking
China earned their spot to the Tokyo Games based on their FIBA 3×3 federation rankings from 2019.

Japan
How they qualified: Host Nation
Japan has the honor of hosting the Olympic Games in Tokyo and therefore will earn their chance at the gold in front of their home fans.

Poland
How they qualified: Olympic Qualifying Tournament
They should start carving Michael “Money in the bank” Hicks’ statue in Poland right now. The man got the country into the OQT at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2019 on a last-second shot to earn the bronze medal. He then propelled them to the Olympic Games with a heart of a champion. Your mom would be proud Michael.

 

Netherlands
How they qualified: Olympic Qualifying Tournament
I wouldn’t want to play these guys, anytime, anywhere. There’s simply no weak link in this group. After getting past the favored USA in the quarterfinals, The Netherlands said, send us to Tokyo. Dimeo “Dimes” van der Horst, through all his injuries, came back and made the deciding shot.

 

Latvia
How they qualified: Olympic Qualifying Tournament
The team we all thought would dominate from the first check-ball needed one final game to make their Olympic dreams come true. Latvia, led by 3×3 OQT MVP Nauris Miezis, is now headed to Tokyo to go up against the best of the rest, with a clean slate and one hurdle cleared.

 

 

Women’s Qualifiers

Russian Olympic Committee 
How they qualifiedFIBA 3×3 Ranking
The Russian women are a powerhouse. They boast 7 players in the top-50 and head into these summer games as one of the strongest teams in the world.

China
How they qualified: FIBA 3×3 Ranking
The FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2019 winners were ranked as one of the top four teams in the world on November 1, 2019, the first threshold for Olympic qualification.

Mongolia
How they qualified: FIBA 3×3 Ranking
Mongolia has gone all in as a nation on 3×3 and their top ranking helped them earn their first basketball appearance at the Olympics.

Romania
How they qualified: FIBA 3×3 Ranking
Romania rounds out the first four teams that earned a trip to Tokyo based on their previous top ranking.

France
How they qualified: Olympic Qualifying Tournament
It’s hard to imagine the number one ranked team in the world coming into an event with a chip on their shoulder. But, France felt that they had to prove that they’re still the team to beat. Besides one loss to the United States, France ran the table, winning each of their bracket stage games by 1 point. Migna Touré’s game is a work of art; her moves belong in the Louvre.

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United States
How they qualified: Olympic Qualifying Tournament
It was a coming-out party for the four USA women, all WNBA stars, who jumped over to 3×3 to test themselves in the new format. It was love at first shot. They went 6-0, winning five of those games by 8 points or more. In Tokyo, these budding 3×3 stars have a few more games before they join the long list of gold medal winners for the red, white, and blue.

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Japan
How they qualified: Olympic Qualifying Tournament
They needed an extra game, but they’ve earned the right to play in front of their home fans this summer in Tokyo. Stephanie Mawuli and Mai Yamamoto played like warriors down the stretch vs. Spain in an instant classic. No matter what happens at the Olympics, Japan has made its country proud. 

 

But there’s still one tournament remaining…

The FIBA 3×3 Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament takes place June 4-6, 2021 in Debrecen, Hungary with a final spot on the line. 

Make sure to tune in to all of the action on the official FIBA 3×3 YouTube, Facebook, and the FIBA Twitch pages.

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