Nigeria’s D’Tigers have qualified for the 2020 Olympics holding in Tokyo, after beating their Chinese opponents in front of a home crowd in Guangzhou.
D’Tigers, who are participating in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China won the game, 86-73.
This will be Nigeria’s third consecutive Olympics appearance after they made their debut at the London 2012 Olympics before returning to the big stage at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as the reigning African champions and finishing 11th.
Their celebrations at the end of the game were not just about winning for pride but also that they will not have to go through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year, taking the direct route to Tokyo 2020.
After the win, Nigeria’s Farouq Al Aminu reflected on the achievement, “I remember when I joined the team in 2012, we said we did not want to miss an Olympics. It is a beautiful feeling. It is amazing.”
With this result, Nigeria is also the top African team at the ongoing 2019 Basketball World Cup.
The two top ranked national teams from the Americas and Europe will also qualify directly for next year’s tournament while the remaining four spots in the men’s basketball event at the Olympics will be filled by the four winners of next year’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, which will feature six teams each.
Teams can qualify for the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments via the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Additionally, two teams from each region – Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe – will be awarded places in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament according to the FIBA World Ranking presented by NIKE.