India will be hosting the basketball 3×3 qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in March next year, the Basketball world governing body FIBA announced Tuesday. The event will be organised by the BFA (Basketball Federation of India), in which a total of 20 teams each in the men’s and women’s qualifiers will be competing.
“We are delighted to host the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in India. Following the successful organisation of two consecutive FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Bangalore by the BFI, we are looking forward to organizing now a key 3×3 event in a country where our new Olympic discipline already has a strong fanbase,” Andreas Zagklis, FIBA Secretary-General said.
“Our positive experience with YKBK at the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Hyderabad Masters 2018 and the excellent collaboration between FIBA and the BFI played an important role in the selection of the host by the FIBA Central Board.”
This is also the first time the discipline is a part of the Olympics, where eight-team tournaments will be conducted for men and women, a decision which was made in June 2017. FIBA also announced that six tickets to next year’s extravaganza will be awarded at the Olympic qualifying tournament. The first official 3×3 event was held back in 2010 at the Singapore Youth Olympic Games.
“It is a great honour to host such an important event in India and to see our players give it all on home soil for a berth to the first-ever 3×3 Olympic tournament,” said Basketball Federation of India (BFI) President Govindaraj Kempareddy.
That said, India may find qualification tough, considering how the top-four ranked countries in the world gain automatic berths for the Olympics. Japan, despite being the hosts, will be able to find only one berth – one of either men’s or women’s team will bag a place based on their ranking.
As per the current rankings, Serbia, Russia, China and Mongolia are the top-ranked teams in men’s while Russia, China, Romania and France are those in women’s.