Japan’s Women Secure Basketball Ticket to Paris; Defeat Resurgent Canada in Final Qualifying Match

Zsombor Toth/MTI via AP
Kayla Alexander, left, and Natalie Achonwa of Canada attempt to block Maki Takada of Japan during a women’s basketball Olympic qualifying tournament third round match in Sopron, Hungary, on Sunday.

The Paris Olympics women’s basketball field was finalized as the qualifying tournaments concluded on Sunday, with the final matches held in locations such as Sopron, Hungary. Japan (ranked 9th globally) defeated Canada (5th) 86-82, securing its position in the top two of its group with a total of 2 wins and 1 loss. The final qualifying tournament in Sopron saw four teams, including Spain (4th) and Hungary (19th), competing for the top three spots, which would grant them entry to the Paris Olympics. Japan make its third consecutive appearance at the Olympics.

In the opening match, Japan claimed a resounding victory over Spain but narrowly lost to Hungary in the second match. In the match against Canada, Japan focused on drives leading to layups rather than three-point shots, seizing the lead in the first half and managing to outlast Canada’s resurgence in the second half.