Austria the new destination for 3x3 basketball Olympic qualifiers

A general view during the Women's 3x3 Basketball round of 16 knockout match between Russia and Netherlands during the Baku 2015 European Games
A general view during the Women's 3x3 Basketball round of 16 knockout match between Russia and Netherlands during the Baku 2015 European Games

The event was originally to be hosted in Bengaluru but after being postponed in March, it has finally been moved out of India.

The Olympic qualifiers for the 3x3 basketball tournament will now be held in Austria instead of India next year, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced on Tuesday (23 June).

The qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics were due to be held in Bengaluru between 18-22 March this year but subsequently postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will now be held on 26-31 May 2021 in the city of Graz, Austria, making it the European nation’s first official FIBA 3x3 competition.

"FIBA is delighted that the road to the Olympics will stop in Graz's iconic Hauptplatz,” FIBA’s Executive Director for Europe Kamil Novak said in his official statement.

“The Austrian authorities have vowed to make it the greenest, most sustainable event to date, which is entirely in line with our concept of reduced ecological footprint of 3x3.”

The nation’s sports federation, Basketball Austria and the local Graz organisers are looking to build a 2000-strong temporary outdoor venue specifically for the 3x3 qualifiers.

3x3 Basketball rocks Buenos Aires
01:54

Qualifying procedure

Though basketball has been played at the Olympics before, the 3x3 version of the event is set to make its debut at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

It will be an eight-team tournament for both men and women, and the top-four FIBA-ranked teams as of 1 November 2019 from each gender are already eligible at the Games.

The men’s and women’s teams from Russian Federation and People's Republic of China have qualified for Tokyo 2020. Serbia and Japan have also earned places in the men's tournament along with Romania and Mongolia women's teams.

The 3x3 Olympic qualifiers in Austria will witness 20 teams from each gender vying for a place at Tokyo 2020. Three spots per gender are up for grabs and will be awarded to the podium finishers.

The final spot in each gender will be decided by a FIBA 3x3 Universality Olympic qualifying tournament to be held in Budapest, Hungary, the date for which is yet to be announced.

By the Olympic Channel.