Some people say that in some sports, for example football, the qualifiers for the World Cup finals are more difficult than the World Cup itself.
Even considering that sentence exaggerated, I must admit that there are exceptions that justify the rule. Proof of this was the absence of Italy, a historic power in this specialty, both in Russia 2018 and in Qatar 2022.
Where the equation becomes indisputable is the comparison between the paths taken to qualify for the top tournament in a sport and the one that takes you to an Olympic game.
There is no game in which, whether in volleyball or in hockey, in handball or in soccer, there are no notable absences. Basketball doesn’t come out of this situation unscathed either.
At the Patrick Baumann Basketball House in Mies, Switzerland, the drawing was held for the four Olympic Qualifiers that will define the last places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
There were 24 selected participants in the Pre-Olympic Games: 19 competed in the last World Cup organized jointly by the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan, while the remaining five won the respective FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualification Tournaments (Poland, Croatia, Cameroon, Bahamas and Bahrain).
The Olympic Qualifiers will be held from July 2 to 7 next year and the cities that will host them will be Piraeus (Greece), Riga (Latvia), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Valencia (Spain). Each of the champions will qualify for the Olympic Games.
The Olympic Qualifiers will consist of two groups of three selected that were formed after the drawing carried out by Luol Deng, president of the South Sudan Basketball Federation and a two-time NBA All-Star. The world ranking determined the top seeds (Spain, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia) and the six drums.
Pre-Olympic Games in Valencia (Spain)
Group A: Spain, Angola and Lebanon
Group B: Finland, Poland and Bahamas
Pre-Olympic Games in Piraeus (Greece)
Group A: Slovenia, New Zealand and Croatia
Group B: Egypt, Greece, Dominican Republic
Olympic qualification in Riga (Latvia)
Group A: Latvia, Georgia and the Philippines
Group B: Brazil, Montenegro and Cameroon
Olympic Qualifying San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Group A: Lithuania, Mexico and Ivory Coast
Group B: Italy, Puerto Rico and Bahrain
Basketball in Paris 2024: the eight countries that are qualified
There are 12 selected to be part of the next Olympic Games and one is France, the host. The other seven won their place in the last World Cup: Germany and Serbia for Europe, Canada and the United States for America, Australia for Oceania, Japan for Asia and South Sudan for Africa.
Russia, a bronze medal winner in London 2012, did not participate in the classification due to the sanction imposed on it for the invasion of Ukraine in February of last year. The United States won seven of the last eight Olympic Games and only Argentina, in Athens 2004, managed to break the dominance of the North Americans.