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02 May 2012 - The draws for the London 2012 Olympic basketball tournaments have been made, confirming the line-ups for the preliminary stages of both the men’s and women’s tournaments.
The men’s draw sees hosts Great Britain pitted against European champions and Beijing 2008 silver medallists Spain, as well as Australia, Brazil and China, while reigning Olympic champions USA will face 2008 bronze medallists Argentina, France and Tunisia. These nine teams will be joined by three further qualifiers, with places to be decided at an Olympic Qualifying tournament in Venezuela from the 2–8 July.
In the women’s draw, current European champions and Beijing 2008 bronze medallists Russia will face Beijing 2008 silver medallists Australia, as well as Brazil and hosts Great Britain, while reigning Olympic champions USA will face current Asian champions China and Angola.
Five places in the women’s competition are still up for grabs, with an Olympic Qualifying tournament being held in Turkey from the 25 June to 1 July to determine the final qualifiers.
Following the draw, FIBA Secretary General and IOC Member Patrick Baumann said: "For every major championship, the draw is a major milestone. Players begin picturing themselves on the court and thinking about match-ups. Fans start imagining the atmosphere. The 2008 men’s final between the USA and Spain was one of the greatest Olympic moments. It showed the huge strides international basketball had made in becoming more and more competitive. I expect this year's Olympic basketball tournaments will be a great and memorable spectacle for all."
Debbie Jevans, Director of Sport at the London 2012 Organising Committee, added: “The Olympic basketball tournaments will see some of the biggest basketball stars in the world come to London to compete for gold. Today’s draw gives us a glimpse of some of the exciting encounters, world-class players and top teams we’ll see in action this summer.”