format, favourites, Les Bleues chances, calendar… What you need to know about the Australian competition

Thirteen months after the bronze medal obtained at the Tokyo Olympics against Serbia (91-76), the French team begins this World Cup basketball, Thursday September 22 at 12:30 p.m., against Australia, the host country.

In Sydney, this World Cup (from September 22 to October 1) promises to be difficult for the Blues, who are outsiders against the favorite countries. France information: sports summarizes everything you need to know about the competition.

American favorites

Only four different teams have won the World Cup since its first edition in 1953. With ten titles, the United States leads the dance clear ahead of the former USSR (5 consecutive subsequent titles between 1959 and 1975), Brazil (1994) and Australia (2006). ) that each achieved success once. France did nothing better than a bronze medal, in Chile in 1953.

Three-time world champion and seven-time Olympic champion in the title, the Americans share a streak of 22 consecutive victories in the World Cup. So they are very popular. But with the absence of Brittney Griner, still imprisoned in Russia, and a less experienced group, Cheryl Reeve’s players might be (a little) less intimidating.

Australia, finalists in 2018, have a lot to offer, especially in their public support. Since its Olympic final in Tokyo, Japan has entered a new dimension when China and Canada remain reliable teams.

In Europe, the French team with an inexperienced but very talented workforce can create a surprise, as can Belgium, which finished fourth and eliminated Les Bleues in the quarter-finals in 2018.

French coach Jean-Aimé Toupane, during the friendly match between the French basketball team and Belgium, September 4, 2022 in Kortrijk.  (JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE / Belga via AFP)

A renewed French team

Since the Tokyo Olympics, the French team has undergone a facelift, with an eye on the Paris Games 2024. Jean-Aimé Toupane, who replaced Valérie Garnier at the head of Les Bleues, called the a particularly young group (25.6 years on average ) after the injury of several executives including captain Sandrine Gruda. Two days before the first match, full-back Marine Johannès joined the forfeit camp, victim of a thigh muscle injury during training. Lisa Berkani, Kendra Chery, Ana Tadic, Marie-Eve Paget and Mamignan Touré are playing in their first international tournament. A total of 12 players were called up, including Iliana Rupert, who just won the WNBA on Sunday with the Las Vegas Aces.

After three successes this summer against Bosnia and Herzegovina (87-52) and Belgium (74-55; 69-76), the French team lost two preparatory games against Australia (88-92 ), then Japan (59-69). A mixed record for the Blues looking to gain momentum.

Placed in the “group of death” along with Australia, Canada, Japan, Serbia and Mali, the first goal of the French women is to reach the quarter-finals, regardless of their final ranking. The dream of a medal comes later.

The format: two groups and a key for Paris 2024

The twelve teams of this XIX World Cup are divided into two groups of six. The number of participating countries has increased from 16 to 12 compared to previous editions. In the Sydney Olympic Park, the Sydney Super Dome (21,032 seats) and the State Sports Center (5,006 seats) will host the all games.

The top four teams in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. The two best are guaranteed to compete for third or fourth in another pool in the quarter-finals. A draw will determine the final posters for the quarter-finals and the draw for the final round. The country that wins this 2022 World Cup will qualify directly for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Blue calendar

September 22 (12:30 pm): Australia-France
September 23 (10 am): France-Canada
September 25 (6:30 am): Mali-France
September 26 (10 am): France-Japan
September 27 (9:30 am): Serbia-Japan

All matches of the French team will be broadcast on beIN Sports 1.

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