Europeans Respond To London Call

30 June 2012

OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT

Turkey celebrating qualifying to the London Olympics - 29/06/2012
Turkey celebrating their victory over Argentina which meant qualifying to the Olympics for the first time in Turkish women's basketball history

The Czech Republic, Turkey, France and Croatia all sealed places in the London Games by winning their Quarter-Finals at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women (OQTW) on Friday.

The four teams will join Russia, who had already qualified by virtue of winning EuroBasket Women 2011, in London for the maximum possible (five of five) European representation at the Olympic basketball tournament. 

After Croatia clinched their first Olympic berth with a 59-56 win over Canada, the Czechs edged Japan, 53-47, with Petra Kulichova scoring 14 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.

The Czechs stormed into a 17-4 lead but then had to hold on as Japan clawed their way back.

The victory has lifted the Czech team into a third straight Olympic appearance.

Jan Bobrovsky coached the Czechs to the two previous Olympic Games while this time, Lubor Blazek has led the team to London.

Jennifer Digbeu, Sandrine Gruda, Isabelle Yacoubou of France celebrating qualification to the London Olympics - 29/06/2012
Jennifer Digbeu, Sandrine Gruda and Isabelle Yacoubou beaming with hapiness after France sealed their place at the 2012 Olympics

Turkey went on a stunning run to the silver medal at last year's EuroBasket Women and now, as hosts of the OQTW, they have won three straight games to earn a berth in London.

Just like Croatia, the Turks are headed to the Olympics for the first time after defeating Argentina, 72-58.

Nevriye Yilmaz, a member of the All Tournament Team at the EuroBasket
Women in Poland last year, had 17 points for Turkey.

France also punched their ticket to the Olympics for the first time since 2000 with an 80-63 victory over Korea.

Sandrine Gruda poured in 19 points for the French, who outrebounded Korea, 42-10.


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