DAKAR (Senegal) – The official draw for the African Pre-Qualifiers of the 2020 Olympic Qualifying Tournament took place on Saturday in Dakar, Senegal.
The ceremony featured FIBA Vice-president Hamane Niang, newly elected FIBA Africa President Anibal Manave, FIBA Africa Regional Director Alphonse Bile, members of the FIBA Africa Central Board and National Federations.
The top six countries at the ongoing FIBA Women’s AfroBasket will play at this tournament including the two Finalists – hosts Senegal and the reigning champions Nigeria who were also Africa’s two representatives at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018 in Spain. The teams have been drawn in two groups.
The results of the draw are as follows:
Group A: Nigeria, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo
Group B: Senegal, Mali, Angola
The African Pre-Qualifiers for the Tokyo games will take place from November 14-17 at a country yet to be determined.
Teams will play a round-robin format in their specific groups with the winner of Group A facing the second team in Group B while the winner of Group B will come up against the second ranked team in Group A in the Semi-Finals.
The two winners of the Semi-Finals will not play a Final as they will automatically advance to the 16-nation FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) where teams will be divided into four tournaments (groups) in February 2020.
The top three teams from each of the three WOQTs will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“WE NEED TO PLAY WITH OTHER TEAMS FROM OTHER CONTINENTS. IT IS NOT A SURPRISE THAT THE TWO TEAMS THAT PLAYED AT THE FIBA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL WORLD CUP 2018 ARE THE ONES THAT WILL PLAY THE FINAL TOMORROW.”
The Pre-Qualifiers for the Tokyo Games is part of FIBA’s major new qualifying system, which also changes the way of qualification for the next FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.
Speaking at the draw ceremony, FIBA Africa Regional Director Alphonse Bile said, “We need to play with other teams from other continents. It is not a surprise that the two teams that played at the FIBA Basketball Women’s World Cup are the ones that will play the [FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2019]Final tomorrow.”
Prior to this format, the winner of the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket automatically qualified for the Summer Olympics.
Both the reigning Olympic champions USA and hosts Japan will take part in the new pre-olympic qualifiers.