2008 Olympics outlook after EuroBasket 2007

Sep 16, 2007 by Euroleague.net Print
Alexey Savrasenko, Russia - (FIBA Europe/Castoria/E. Castoria) Two European teams, Lithuania and Russia, have clinched respective berths for the 2008 Olympic Games to take part in Beijing, China next year. Lithuania has reached its fifth consecutive Olympic Games, the longest streak for any European team right now, while Russia will be back in the Olympics for the first time since 2000. Lithuania won three consecutive Olympic bronze medals from 1992 to 2000, while Russia was eighth in its only appearance as an independent country once the Soviet Union folded. Nine men's basketball teams have already made it to the 2008 Olympic Games. China - as host nation - and Spain - as current World Champion - were automatically qualified. In addition to Lithuania and Russia, five other teams directly qualified in their respectives continental tournaments: Angola (Africa), USA and Argentina (America), Iran (Asia) and Australia (Oceania). There are three remaining berths at the Olympics for teams coming from the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men, that will be played in mid-July 2008, in a place to be determined.

The best teams from around the world not already qualified to the Olympic Games will be entitled to participate in next summer's World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men. The 12-team tournament, from which three teams will reach Beijing, will feature the following countries: Cameroon and Cape Verde of Africa; Puerto Rico, Brazil and Canada of the Americas; Lebanon and South Korea of Asia; New Zealand of Oceania; and Greece, Croatia, Germany and Slovenia of Europe. If any of these 12 teams refuse to accept their invitation, the next-best team from the same zone will be entitled to participate.