Nigeria’s female basketball team, the Tigress, yesterday celebrated securing a third Olympic Games appearance. At the Federation of International Basketball Association qualifying tournament in Antwerp, Belgium, Nigeria clinched qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics and secured back to back appearances at the showpiece event, having also featured last time at Tokyo 2020.
Despite losing to a formidable opponent in USA earlier in the day a subsequent victory by Belgium over Senegal was enough to wrap up a ticket to Paris with a game to spare in Antwerp.
Now, the pivotal question arises: Can Nigeria get a victory when they step out on French soil, having fallen short of that aim in the Japanese capital three years ago?
Nigeria Women’s National Team Olympic history includes two Appearances in 2004 (11th); 2020 (11th)
Having seen other African nations punch tickets previously for the Olympics, that badge of honor was something Nigeria adopted in 2004 when they made history with a debut in Athens.
Then after a long wait, it finally happened again for them as they got their spot for Tokyo 2020. And, while the African champs struggled on the court and finished one off the bottom, that was not a surprise in a nightmare group with all three podium teams.
Their return to the big show in 2024 might see them able to improve on two 11th placed finishes.