Fourteen 3x3 teams who already secured a spot in Tokyo 2020
1 Jun 2021
GRAZ (Austria) - And breathe... The FIBA 3x3 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.
Serbia How they qualified: FIBA 3x3 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 3x3 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 3x3 Ranking China earned their spot to the Tokyo Games based on their FIBA 3x3 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 3x3 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 3x3 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.
Russian Olympic Committee How they qualified: FIBA 3x3 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 3x3 Ranking The FIBA 3x3 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 3x3 Ranking Mongolia has gone all in as a nation on 3x3 and their top ranking helped them earn their first basketball appearance at the Olympics.
Romania How they qualified: FIBA 3x3 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.
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 3x3 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 3x3 stars have a few more games before they join the long list of gold medal winners for the red, white, and blue.
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.