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Path to the podium: Women’s Basketball

22 July 2016

BASKETBALL: The Australian women’s basketball team have a long history of success at the Olympics and will be one of the teams to beat in Rio.

Australia won bronze at the London 2012 Games after three straight silver medal performances in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. 

The Rio 2016 competition features two groups of six teams with the top four teams from each group securing progression to the quarter-final stage of the tournament. From there the highest ranked team in each group will play the fourth seed from the other group while the second and third seeds will feature in the other quarter-final matchup.

The Aussies have been drawn alongside tournament hosts Brazil, Turkey, France, Japan and Belarus in a group they will be looking to top.

Having made her Olympic debut at the London 2012 Olympic Games and played a prominent part in the Australian side’s success in the years since, Rachel Jarry gives us her insight into the teams Australia will face at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

 

Group Games 

Brazil
World ranking: 7th
Best Olympic Games result: silver – 1996
London 2012 result: 9th
Recent results: Brazil 66-77 Australia (Rio 2016 Test Event)
Jarry: “These girls are passionate and physical and with a home crowd behind them could really exceed expectations. They have some veterans who will control the team but also have a couple of talented youngsters who will complement their team well.”

Rowing pictogram

Turkey
World ranking: equal 10th
Best Olympic Games result: 5th – 2012
London 2012 result: 5th
Recent results: Turkey 44-74 Australia (2014 World Championships)
Jarry: “They are looking to play a bit bigger by using their size against other teams. The core of this team has been together for a long time now so that makes them tough to defend as they will run their offence with discipline.”

France
World ranking: 4th
Best Olympic Games result: silver – 2012
London 2012 result: silver
Recent match results: France 58-50 Australia (2016 – Friendly)
Jarry: “They play a very physical half-court game. They really like to grind out games and have had success against us so we will be looking to change that.” 

Rowing pictogram

Japan
World ranking: 16th
Best Olympic Games result: 5th – 1976
London 2012 result: Did not qualify
Recent match results: Japan 76-75 Australia (2016 Friendly), Japan 65-86 Australia (2016 Friendly)
Jarry: “They have great shooters and execute their plays really well in order to get people open. They’ve got a couple of key players who we will have to shut down.”

Belarus
World ranking: equal 10th
Best Olympic Games result: 6th – 2008
London 2012 result: Did not qualify
Recent match results: Belarus 45-87 Australia (2014 World Championships)
Jarry: “They have a couple of go-to players that they run their plays through. A big key to beating them is trying to limit their superstars’ contributions but that is easier said than done!”

 

Two key teams that Australia are likely to face if they push for an historic gold medal in Rio are winners of seven of the last eight gold medals in the USA and current third ranked side Spain.

Rowing pictogram

USA
World ranking: 1st
Best Olympic Games result: 1st – 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012
London 2012 result: gold
Recent match results: USA 82-70 Australia (2014 World Championships)
Jarry: They’ve been the team to beat for a long time now and I’d say that will be the same in Rio. USA are athletic and highly skilled so they will test teams in transition. They are also a big team so limiting their rebounding is vital in stopping them.

Rowing pictogram


Spain
World ranking: 3rd
Best Olympic Games result: 
London 2012 result:
Recent match results: Spain 58-55 Australia (2016 Friendly)
Jarry: “They were the silver medallists at the 2014 World Champs and the core of this Spanish team has remained the same. Typical European play in that they will execute very well and keep the game in the half-court.”

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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