Women's World Cup History

The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, known from 1953 to 2014 as the FIBA World Championship for Women, is the biggest international women's basketball competition.

The 18th edition of FIBA's flagship women's event will take place in Tenerife, the largest of Spain's Canary Islands, from September 22-30, 2018.

Every four years, the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup brings together the 16 best teams from across FIBA's four regions - Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe.

The inaugural FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup took place in Chile in 1953 with the United States of America (USA) emerging as the first champions after beating the host nation in the Final.

Altogether, the USA have triumphed in nine of the 17 editions of the competition to date, with the Soviet Union accounting for a further six titles, while Australia and Brazil have won one each.

After being staged in uneven years from 1953 to 1983, the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup was moved to even years starting in 1986 in order to be in the middle of Olympic Games cycles.

The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup is where some of the sport's biggest international stars have made their mark, from Hortencia to Lauren Jackson to Maya Moore and many in between.

Click here to find out the results of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup throughout its history.

2014
  • ANKARA, ISTANBUL - TURKEY

    1.USA
    2. Spain
    3. Australia

    USA defended their title in Istanbul thanks mainly to eventual MVP, Maya Moore. She poured in more than 15 points per game to lead the favorites past first-time Finalists Spain, as Lucas Mondelo guided his nation to yet more history with their best-ever finish. The energetic Alba Torrens reminded everyone of her qualities with some superb displays, while Sancho Lyttle finished as the leading scorer in the tournament. Meanwhile the Opals returned to the podium, inflicting heartache on the locals as they outlasted Turkey to take third place.

  • OSTRAVA, BRNO, KARLOVY VARY - CZECH REPUBLIC

    1.USA
    2. Czech Republic
    3. Spain

    Having suffered a shock loss four years earlier, USA returned to their familiar position as champions of the competition in what was also a very memorable tournament for the hosts. Czech Republic made an exhilarating and historic run to the Final - much to the delight of the partisan home supporters. Their last appearance in the title game had been as Czechoslovakia in 1971. The legendary duo of Hana Horakova and Eva Viteckova were their driving force, with the former a popular choice as MVP. There was also a slice of history for Spain as well, making the last step of the podium for the first time.

  • SAO PAULO - BRAZIL

    1. Australia
    2. Russia
    3. USA

    What happened in Sao Paolo still remains one of the most talked about tournaments in women’s basketball history as Australia clinched their maiden title with a dazzling 9-0 unbeaten run. The Opals were packed with top stars and not least the legendary Lauren Jackson and also Penny Taylor, who would be named MVP after a stellar 28 points in the Final against Russia. It was the runners-up who had caused the biggest stir, famously beating USA during the Semi-Finals in a classic match-up to deny their arch rivals a third consecutive crown. It also tasted sweet for Russia to avenge their Final loss from the 2002 edition.

  • ZHANGJIAGANG, CHANGSHU, TAICANG, WUZHONG, CHANGZHOU, SUZHOU, HUIAN, ZHENJIANG, NANJING - CHINA

    1. USA
    2. Russia
    3. Australia

    MVP Lisa Leslie and her compatriot Shannon Johnson made the All-Star Five after ensuring USA successfully held on to the silverware they had scooped four years earlier. But, it was a tough assignment as they only just managed to hold off Russia 79-74 in a wonderful conclusion to the competition. Meanwhile Australia were rampant against Korea as they took third place, with the Asian side having no answer to the presence and skills of the formidable Lauren Jackson.

  • MUNSTWER, WUPPERTAL, ROTENBURG/FULDA, KARLSRUHE, DESSAU, BREMEN, BERLIN - GERMANY

    1. USA
    2. Russia
    3. Australia

    It was USA who shone brightly as they posted a flawless 9-0 record to regain the title they had relinquished in 1994. Their sixth title was delivered mainly through the power in the paint of Lisa Leslie and also the vision in the backcourt of Dawn Staley who almost two decades later, would get to hold the coaching reins. They beat Russia in the Final, but it was perhaps the emergence of Australia which was the most notable event, since their first ever podium place was to eventually become four in five editions. They established themselves as a new powerhouse nation in the women’s game, with stars such as Michelle Timms, Michelle Brogan, Sandy Brondello and Lauren Jackson.

  • ADELAIDE, HOBART, LAUNCESTON, SYDNEY - AUSTRALIA

    1. Brazil
    2. China
    3. USA

    Even if there was disappointment for the host nation took fourth, the tournament received a huge boost with a surprise match-up in the title game. There was not just one, but two first-time Finalists as Brazil claimed the prestigious silverware with a 96-87 win against China who had been inspired by MVP Haixia Zheng. However, Brazil were fuelled by the magical FIBA Hall of Fame entrant Hortencia Marcari, who is often credited as one of the best female players in women’s basketball history. With Janeth Dos Santos Arcain also brilliant, they key was a 110-107 Semi-Final triumph against USA - an encounter that has been called one of the greatest games of all time.

  • KOTA KINABALU, KUCHING, KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA

    1. USA
    2. Yugoslavia
    3. Cuba

    USA landed what would turn out to be the first of three titles in four editions as they reigned supreme in Malaysia. Their Final success came against Yugoslavia 88-78, carried throughout the tournament by the irrepressible Teresa Edwards - as well as Katrina McClain, who combined for 40 points in the decisive game. Cuba took Third-Place, behind the performances of Regla Hernandez Buides and Leonor Borrell Hernandez, offering a potent one-two punch for the Caribbean nation.

  • VILNIUS, MINSK, MOSCOW - SOVIET UNION

    1. USA
    2. Soviet Union
    3. Canada

    The Soviet Union were hoping they would be able to successfully retain their title as they battled against their familiar rivals in a repeat of the 1983 Final. But revenge proved particularly sweet for USA as they defeated the Soviet team in their own backyard in Moscow with a powerful and eye-catching 108-88 win. Cheryl Miller was a thorn in their side as the USA star racked up 23 points in the showpiece contest, while Anne Donovan was also doing her thing. Canada took third place for the second time in three editions.

  • SAO PAULO, RIO DE JANEIRO, PORTO ALEGRE - BRAZIL

    1. Soviet Union
    2. USA
    3. China

    The all-conquering Soviet Union ran up their sixth title to make up for the USA having ended their spectacular five-edition winning streak in 1979. They also returned to the top of the tree by cutting down defending champions USA in the first Final between the powerhouse duo for 26 years. It was also a classic, with Soviet Union prevailing 84-82 in a super match-up as the legendary Uliana Semjonova showed why she would become a FIBA Hall of Fame member with 23 points against USA. It was China who took third place as they cemented a maiden podium appearance, while this edition was also marked by the Brazilian brilliance of home favorite Hortencia Marcari, who top scored again yet again after doing so in 1979. She would also repeat the feat in both 1990 and 1994.

  • SEOUL - KOREA

    1. USA
    2. Korea
    3. Canada

    The USA became champions for the first time since 1957 as they spoiled the party in the Korean capital to pip the host nation to the silverware. Carol Blazejowski was their leader as she demonstrated her class throughout. Home hopes were carried by Park Chan-Sook who amassed almost 20 points per game in what was a second runners-up appearance for Korea. Canada rejoiced as they made the podium for the first-time, mainly off the back of some great work by Silvia Sweeney.

  • CALI, BOGOTA, BUCARAMANGA - COLOMBIA

    1. Soviet Union
    2. Japan
    3. Czechoslovakia

    A staggering fifth consecutive crown was taken by the Soviet Union as they continued to take down everyone in front of them. With a flawless 8-0 record, they continued to reign supreme, led by the stunning play of Uliana Semjonova. Japan had some joy as they finished runners-up for the first time in their history. The familiar force of Czechoslovakia took Third-Place in what was their fourth successive placing on the podium steps. There was also some cheer for the home crowd as Colombia star Nancy Nieto finished as the leading scorer.

  • SAO PAULO  - BRAZIL

    1. Soviet Union
    2. Czechoslovakia
    3. Brazil

    There was a great atmosphere in Sao Paulo as the home fans enjoyed the hosts tournament, despite not managing to break the dominance of Soviet Union or usual medal for Czechoslovakia. Instead, they wrote a line of history with their first-ever podium and that was exciting as they also finished above their Americas rivals including the USA, Cuba, Argentina and Canada - thanks mainly to the productive skills of Nilza Garcia, who was also the tournament's top scorer in 1967.

  • PRAGUE - CZECHOSLOVAKIA

    1. Soviet Union
    2. Korea
    3. Czechoslovakia

    There was a slice of history served up in 1967 when Korea became the first team from Asia to climb onto the podium as they finished second. Yet again it was Soviet Union on top, with the gulf between the top two teams vast and evidenced with the Soviet Union powering their way to an 83-50 success.

  • LIMA - PERU

    1. Soviet Union
    2. Czechoslovakia
    3. Bulgaria

    After missing the 1959 edition, USA returned and expectations were that they could challenge the new-found supremacy of the Eastern European teams. However, they missed out on the podium and, once again, the Soviet Union were all conquering with a flawless and impressive 12-0 record.

  • MOSCOW - SOVIET UNION

    1. Soviet Union
    2. Bulgaria
    3. Czechoslovakia

    The third edition of the tournament, staged in Moscow, was a landmark one for multiple reasons. It was held outside of South America and in Europe for the first time. There was further history made with the competition's hosts for once lifting the coveted silverware as the Soviet Union claimed a maiden title. They did so in fashion too, becoming the first nation to go unbeaten (7-0) in the tournament. It signalled the start of a golden age for women's basketball in the Soviet Union as they went on to dominate for almost two decades.

  • RIO DE JANEIRO - BRAZIL

    1. USA
    2. Soviet Union
    3. Czechoslovakia

    The favorites and holders USA managed to retain the title they had won four years earlier in Chile, but the Soviet Union were breathing down their necks and it was a sign of things to come from the 1957 runners-up. The other noteworthy display came from third-place Czechoslovakia since this would prove to be the first of an eye-catching six consecutive podium finishes. They also made people sit up and take notice by beating eventual champions USA 53-50 in a preliminary round game.

  • SANTIAGO DE CHILE - CHILE

    1. USA
    2. Chile
    3. France

    The USA had the honor of being crowned the inaugural world champions. Anne-Marie Golchen (France) is the best scorer of the tournament with 19.2 ppg. The 10 participating countries are: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, France, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Switzerland and USA.