World Basketball 2022: format, favorites, chances of the Blue, calendar… What you need to know about the competition in Australia

Thirteen months after the bronze medal acquired at the Tokyo Olympics against Serbia (91-76), the French team begins this World Cup basketball, Thursday September 22 at 12:30 p.m., against Australia, the host country.

In Sydney, this World Cup (from September 22 to October 1) promises to be difficult for the Blues, who are outsiders against the favorite nations. France info: sports summarizes everything you need to know about the competition.

The American favorites

Only four different teams have won the World Cup since its first edition in 1953. With ten titles, the United States leads the dance clearly ahead of the former USSR (5 consecutive titles between 1959 and 1975), Brazil (1994) and Australia (2006) having each achieved the feat once. France has never done better than a bronze medal, in Chile in 1953.

Three-time world champions and seven-time Olympic champions in title, the Americans are engaged in a series of 22 consecutive victories in the World Cup. So they are overwhelmingly favourites. But with the absence of Brittney Griner, still imprisoned in Russia, and a less experienced group, the players of Cheryl Reeve are perhaps (a little) less scary.

Australia, finalists in 2018, have a lot to offer, especially with the support of their public. Since its Olympic final in Tokyo, Japan has also entered a new dimension when China and Canada remain very reliable teams.

In Europe, the French team with its inexperienced but very talented workforce can create a surprise, as can Belgium, who finished fourth and eliminated Les Bleues in the quarter-finals in 2018.

French coach Jean-Aimé Toupane, during the friendly match between the French basketball team and Belgium, September 4, 2022 in Kortrijk.  (JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE / Belga via AFP)

A rejuvenated French team

Since the Tokyo Olympics, the French team has undergone a facelift, with a view to the Paris 2024 Games. Jean-Aimé Toupane, who succeeded Valérie Garnier at the head of Les Bleues, has called up a particularly young group ( 25.6 years on average) after the injuries of several executives including captain Sandrine Gruda. Two days before the first match, full-back Marine Johannès joined the forfeit camp, victim of a muscle injury to the thigh during training. Lisa Berkani, Kendra Chery, Ana Tadic, Marie-Eve Paget and Mamignan Touré are playing their first international tournament. A total of 12 players have been called up, including Iliana Rupert, who just won the WNBA on Sunday with the Las Vegas Aces.

After three successes this summer against Bosnia and Herzegovina (87-52) and Belgium (74-55; 69-76), the French team lost its two preparation matches against Australia (88-92) , then Japan (59-69). A mixed record for the Blues who intend to gain momentum.

Placed in the “group of death” alongside Australia, Canada, Japan, Serbia and Mali, the French women’s first objective will be to reach the quarter-finals, regardless of their final ranking. The dream of a medal will come later.

The format: two groups and a key for Paris 2024

The twelve teams of this XIX World Cup are divided into two groups of six. The number of participating nations has increased from 16 to 12 compared to previous editions. At the Sydney Olympic Park, the Sydney Super Dome (21,032 seats) and the State Sports Center (5,006 seats) will host all matches.

The top four teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. The two best will be guaranteed to face the third or fourth of the other pool in the quarter-finals. A draw will determine the final posters for the quarter-finals and the draw for the final phase. The nation that wins this 2022 World Cup will be directly qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Blue calendar

September 22 (12:30 p.m.): Australia-France
September 23 (10 a.m.): France-Canada
September 25 (6:30 a.m.): Mali-France
September 26 (10 a.m.): France-Japan
September 27 (9:30 a.m.): Serbia-Japan

All the matches of the France team will be broadcast on beIN Sports 1.

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