By Ebenezer Bajela
Ahead of the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgium, D’Tigress forward, Elizabeth Balogun, says she is ready to assist the team qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The FIBA Olympics qualifying tournament is scheduled to hold February 8 to 11 in Antwerp, Belgium with 16 teams competing for 12 places at this summer’s 2024 Paris Olympics.
D’Tigress coach, Rena Wakama, on Saturday released a squad list of 15 players to represent Nigeria at the qualifying tournament with Balogun, who plays for Bembibre in Spain, among the players invited.
Speaking ahead of their first game against Senegal on Thursday, the 23-year-old Lagos-born guard said she was ready to help the team qualify.
“I am thrilled about this, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase our team’s talent and demonstrate our national prowess,” she said.
“I am preparing to assist the team in qualifying for the 2024 Olympics.”
D’Tigress qualified automatically for the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament as winners of the 2023 Women’s Afrobasket in Rwanda and will face hosts Belgium, United States and Senegal in Group A.
After their first game against Senegal on Thursday, Wakama’s women will then face the United States the following day. Their last group game is against Belgium on Sunday.
A total of 16 teams will participate in one of four global FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments taking place from February 8 to 11, 12 of them, including the hosts (France) and the winners of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup (USA), will qualify to the Women’s Olympic Basketball Tournament.
The top three teams in the group qualify for the Olympics in Paris.