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Women's basketball 10th Spanish team to qualify for Tokyo 2020
11 February 2020 @ 22:54

THE WOMEN'S basketball team's qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has taken Spain's total up to 10, with the latest victory for the country coming at the expense of the UK, leaving British expats on Spanish soil with mixed emotions.

Under the auspices of manager Lucas Mondelo, Spain (pictured left) beat Britain 69-79 yesterday (Sunday), meaning the UK's women's basketball team failed to qualify.

The match was moved at the last minute to Serbia, since it was originally due to be held in Wuhan, China, a city virtually in lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Spain's men's basketball team was practically a certainty to qualify anyway, given that they are world champions – the side working under Sergio Scariolo includes the legendary 7'1” (2.16m) Marc Gasol, currently playing for the NBA team Toronto Raptors.

Field hockey is also due to be represented in Tokyo this summer with both the men's and women's teams qualifying – the 'RedSticks' have been growing fast in the last few years and taken on a host of new players, the men's side has played in every World Cup since 1971 and carried off the EuroHockey Nations Championship twice, as well as the Champions Trophy and the Champions Challenge, whilst the women already have an Olympic gold to their name, which they earned at home in 1992 when the Games were held in Barcelona.

Women's and men's water polo have also both qualified – Spain has one of the world's most successful women's water polo teams, with three European Championship, three World Championship, one World Cup, World League, Europa Cup and Olympic medals to their name.

They won the European Championships in 2014 and again this year, and the World Championships in 2013, and earned a silver at the London 2012 Olympics plus a fifth-place diploma in Rio 2016.

The men's water polo team is also one of the best on earth, having won an Olympic gold (Atlanta 1996) and a silver (Barcelona 1992), a fourth-place diploma (Sydney 2000) and a fifth-place diploma (Peking 2008), two World Championship golds (1998 and 2001), four World Championship silvers (1991, 1994, 2009 and 2019) and a bronze (2007), five World Cup bronze medals between 1985 and 2010, three World League silvers (2002, 2006 and 2012) and a bronze (2018), and picked up six European Championship medals: three bronzes (1983, 1993 and 2006) and three silvers (1991, 2018 and 2020), meaning they are currently reserve world champions in Europe.



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