Dream team to go to Rio!
Belarus’ national women’s basketball team qualifies for Olympic Games, after five matches at tournament in Nantes
Ticket to Rio
Losing to the Chinese in the main draw, our women’s basketball squad could afford to make no mistakes, being obliged to top the four ‘losers’ of the quarterfinal stage to gain an Olympic place.
Anatoly Buyalsky’s trainees began well in their match against Argentina, smashing their rivals 84:44. They allowed the Latin American players only 3 points against their 20 initially, taking a lead of 46:16, and pushing on to take almost another forty goals.
The first victory was easily achieved, while the major test — the final game against South Korea — lay ahead. Potentially, we are stronger than the Asian girls but confirming our advantage required effort — to finish 56:39.
Before the matches, Mr. Buyalsky said that Lindsey Harding [an American professional basketball player who has recently acquired Belarusian citizenship and joined our national team] ‘is still sleeping’. However, in the game against the Koreans, the naturalised American ‘woke up’ and earned 17 points. Anastasia Veremeenko and Yelena Levchenko also deserve praise, alongside the whole squad.
Belarusian basketball will be presented at the Olympic Games, for the second time in history!
By Kirill Karin