Olympic Basketball Tournaments

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  • When the Olympic Games get underway in Rio in 2016, it will herald eight decades of basketball being played at the prestigious event.

    It is a competition which the USA have dominated across the entire 80 years and will arrive in Brazil as both the current holders, and having been crowned as Olympic champions an absolutely eye-popping 14-times.

    They will search for a sixth title in the last seven editions of the Games, with only Argentina having famously broken the winning run that was initiated in 1992 by the revered 'Dream Team'.

    The success of Argentina in Athens in 2004 remains one of the biggest Olympic stories to date, as Manu Ginobli and Luis Scola provided the inspiration to write an unrivalled chapter in their country's basketball history.

    Only four nations have ever won Olympic gold, with the other sole winner being Yugoslavia, who triumphed in Moscow in 1980 as Drazen Dalipagic and Dragan Kicanovic stole the limelight.

    The Soviet Union finished as Olympic champions on two separate occasions, the first coming in Munich in 1972, which ended the run of the USA having snapped up gold at the first seven events and remains the only time they have ever been beaten in the Final. The city of Seoul witnessed a second title for the Soviet Union in 1988.

    The Olympic Games in Rio will see 12 countries line up. Hosts Brazil will be joined by 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup winners USA, as well as by Nigeria (AfroBasket 2015 winners), Venezuela and Argentina (2015 FIBA Americas Championship winners and runners-up), China (2015 FIBA Asia Championship winners), Spain and Lithuania (EuroBasket 2015 winners and runners-up) and Australia (2015 FIBA Oceania Championship winners).

    The last three tickets for Rio will go to the winners of the three 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs).

  • Ever since 1976 when women's basketball first appeared at the event, it has become the dream of so many aspiring and indeed even established female players around the world to step out at an Olympic Games.
     
    It continues to hold a special and magical appeal for athletes around the globe, with teams assured of a place at the Rio Games in 2016.
     
    Host nation Brazil and 2014 FIBA Women's World Championship winners USA will be joined in the 12-team field by the winners of the 2015 women's continental championships - Senegal (Africa), Canada (Americas), Japan (Asia), Serbia (Europe) and Australia (Oceania). 

    The remaining five places will be taken much closer to the event, via the tension and excitement of the 2016 FIBA Women’s Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) which offers 12 teams the chance to realise their Olympic dreams.

    The top five teams will earn berths for the Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament.

    Those that manage to succeed will play their role in trying to dislodge the USA from their Olympic throne - one which they have occupied since 1996 as they look to complete two entire decades of utter dominance by taking a spectacular sixth successive title in Rio.
     
    Also taking a gold medal in both 1984 on home soil in Los Angeles and in 1988 in Seoul, the USA are seven-time winners.
     
    The inaugural champions were the Soviet Union as they rode their way to the top step of the podium in 1976, managing to complete a successful defence four years later in front of their triumphant supporters in Moscow.
     
    Since then, a near perfect USA Olympic honours board has only been punctuated by the Natalia Zasulskaya and Elena Khoudachova inspired title of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Barcelona in 1992.
     
    Australia have regularly challenged the USA’s near monopoly, appearing in three consecutive Finals between 2000 and 2008, only to fall short.
     
    While last time out at London 2012, France made their maiden appearance in the gold medal game - but it was to be a familiar story as USA romped to yet another golden moment.