MADRID, Spain (FIBA Central Board) – Venezuela and Turkey will host the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs) for Men and Women respectively. The decision was made by FIBA’s Central Board at its meeting in the Spanish capital on Saturday.
Venezuela will welcome the 12 national men’s teams vying for the last three Olympic berths on offer at the OQT, which will take place in the country's capital and largest city of Caracas from 2-8 July 2012.
The previous week (25 June-1 July 2012), in its capital of Ankara, Turkey is to play host to the 12 national women’s teams battling for the five remaining places to compete in the Women’s Olympic Basketball Tournament.
For Venezuela, this is the first time hosting a major international basketball tournament.
The country’s men’s national team booked its place in the OQT by virtue of coming in fifth at this past summer’s FIBA Americas Championship in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
The Venezuelans are looking to return to the Olympics for the first time since 1992.
Joining them in the OQT are Angola, Dominican Republic, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Greece, Jordan, Korea, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Puerto Rico and Russia.
Meanwhile, Turkey is to host its first major women’s international basketball tournament since EuroBasket Women 2005.
The Turks organised the 2010 edition of the FIBA World Championship and were awarded the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.
The country’s national women’s team had a memorable run at EuroBasket Women 2011 in Poland, ending France's title defence to reach the Gold Medal game.
While they lost to Russia in the Final, the Turkish women did enough to reach the OQT for Women for the first time ever and will look to go a step further by making their maiden trip to the Olympics.
They will be joined in the OQT for Women by Argentina, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Korea, Mali, Mozambique, New Zealand and Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico and Mozambique are taking the places of Cuba and Senegal respectively after these teams withdrew.
FIBA and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments
The Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) was first introduced in 1960. It was played according to a variety of formats until it was discontinued in 1992. It was reintroduced in 2008, and took place in Athens, Greece. Croatia, Germany and Greece booked the final three places on offer for the Beijing Olympics.
The 2012 edition will take place 2-8 July. The 12 teams will be divided into four groups of three teams. The top two teams from each group will progress to the Quarter-Finals. The two winning Semi-Finalists will qualify for London alongside the winner of the third-place playoff.
The 2012 OQT for Women will be played 25 June-1 July. The 12 teams will be divided into four groups of three teams. The top two teams from each group will progress to the Quarter-Finals. The four Semi-Finalists and winner of the fifth-place playoff will qualify for London.
In 2008, Belarus, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Spain and Latvia took the five spots on offer.
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FIBA (fiba.com) – the world governing body for basketball – is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).