08 - 11
February 2024
Game Report
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Joy for Japan as they take down Canada in a classic to claim Paris 2024 ticket

SOPRON (Hungary) - Japan will get to play at their sixth Olympic Games after they won a dramatic encounter 86-82 against Canada at the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Sopron.



The fairytale silver medalists from Tokyo 2020 and one of the original Olympians in 1976 (5th) when they took to the court in Montreal, Japan will head to Paris 2024 after also previously featuring in 1996 (7th); 2004 (10th) and 2016 (8th).

The win was also cheered on by Spain, who now also advance to Paris off the back of Japan's victory. 


Turning Point: It was an epic duel and another incredible advert for the women's game, with Japan making their move with just 40 seconds remaining. A finely balanced one-shot game, Mai Yamamoto made a searing drive to the bucket to make it a two-possession contest and that was the clutch moment they needed to keep themselves out in front for the remainder of the game.

TCL Player of the Game:
 It was fitting that Yamamoto came up with the goods down the stretch with a huge play and also making a vital free-throw as she was excellent throughout. The guard finished with 21 pivotal points.

Stats Don't Lie: The 12 lead changes underlines how intense this was and how captivating for the neutrals. Canada will be kicking themselves at losing despite holding Japan to just 2 fast-break points and dominating 45-23 on the glass. But their poor outside shooting still haunts them after making only 3 of 13.

Bottom Line: Japan have had an up and down tournament, but came back from their shock loss to Hungary and delivered under pressure. As well as Yamamoto, the display of Evelyn Mawuli was immense as she also netted 21 points.

Now Canada face a torturous wait to see if they will go to Paris 2024 or miss out. They need Spain to beat Hungary to get a spot on the plane to France. The defeat was certainly a disappointment for Kayla Alexander who was again impressive with a huge double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds.

They Said:  "Of course I am so happy. We played together for 40 minutes as a team. I am just so happy." Japan star, Mai Yamamoto

"I would like to thank the fans who were watching inside the Arena and also the fans watching on TV in Japan. I also want to thank Canada as they are such a tough team to beat. I am so happy also." Japan head coach, Toru Onzuka

"I am really proud of our team for fighting today. But you have to play for 40 minutes. Japan had a really good game today. No matter what, I am proud of how we competed and represented Canada," Canada center, Natalie Achonwa.

"Congratulations to Japan. They are a great team and played amazing today, finding solutions. Special congratulations to Evelyn Mawuli. She was the difference in this game. I am proud of my team and for all they did today.Now we will wait to see if we are out or we are in." Canada head coach, Victor Lapena