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July 2023
Australia v Japan
16/07/2023
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Three titles, 18 straight wins; How dominant have the Sapphires been?

AMMAN (Jordan) - We’ve all seen this before, not once, but twice. Japan pushed Australia to their limits in the Final of the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship 2023, just as they had done in 2022 and 2017.

And just as they did in the first two installments of this trilogy, Australia prevailed and emerged as champions once again.

The 80-74 win has brought Australia’s streak of victories in the U16 Women’s Asian Championship to 18, dating back to their first appearance in the competition in 2017. During their run in Amman, they smashed through China’s previous record of 13 consecutive wins that spanned from 2011 to 2017 in which they won 2 titles.

This streak should not be a surprise, as Australia are ranked third in the FIBA World Ranking Presented by NIKE for Girls (last updated 13 December 2022). It is also an optimistic sign for the future of the senior women’s team, the Opals, who are ranked third in the FIBA World Ranking for Women and are coming off podium finishes in both the Women’s World Cup and the Women’s Asia Cup.

After three titles and 18 straight wins, you can be sure that some of these young Sapphires will eventually make their way into the rosters of both the Gems and Opals rosters in the future.

Here’s a look at the players who have been a part of this historic run and, a group that includes the likes of Shyla Heal who has already made her Opals debut and Isla Juffermans who is already a part of the Gems squad, and their contributions to the run.

FIBA