2014 FIBA World Championship for Women
One of the most significant events for the international basketball community is definitely the FIBA World Championship for Women and in 2014, it was the 17th time that the best female basketball teams gathered to compete against each other on the basketball field. The 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women took place in Turkey, Ankara, from 27 September to 5 October 2014.
This Championship goes down in history as the last championship under the name of FIBA Championship for Women, hence it was renamed to the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, in order to match the name of the men’s competition equal in rank (i.e. the the FIBA Men's Basketball World Cup).
Where was it held?
The championship was held at three different venues and two different cities. The games were played either in Ankara, in the Ankara Arena, or in Istanbul in the Ülker Sports Arena or the Abdi İpekçi Spor Salonu. The Ankara Arena has a capacity of 10,00, whereas the Istanbul venues offered several more seats, with the Abdi İpekçi Spor Salonu of 11,000 capacity, and the Ülker Sports Arena with a 13,000 capacity.
The Format of the Championship
This championship was also significant because it introduced some changes to the rules of play. The championship, for the first time, left out the elimination tournament format, and replaced it with the so-called all-play-all format. This means that each team had to play against all teams at some point during the competition. There were 16 teams and they were divided into four groups first, where each team would play against the other, and the top teams of each group would proceed to the quarter finals, whereas the 2nd and 3rd ranked teams within each group faced each other on the field based on the elimination format. Also, all teams that were ranked last (i.e. four teams at the bootm of the group ranking), were eliminated.
Once in the quarter-finals, the teams would be eliminated in a knock-out fashion (eliminating the team which loses as little as one game) until the winner team can be determined.
The Participants and Qualifications
The USA qualified automatically for winning the Olympics which spared the US National Team to go through the qualification process of the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women, wherefrom two other top teams qualified for the world championship, namely Canada, Cuba, and Brazil.
The 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship for Women secured Australia the ticket to the world championship, making it the only country that qualified via this prequalification competition. Angola and Mozambique were also proud participants who fought hardly in the prequalification round of 2013 FIBA Africa Championship for Women.
EuroBasket Women 2013 accounts for the biggest group of participants, with national teams of Belarus, Serbia, France, Spain, and the Czech Republic. The Asian prequalification tournaments sent national teams of Japan, China, and South Korea. And last, but not least, the host nation took also part in the exciting championship, i.e. Turkey.
The Semi-Finals and Finals
The quarter-finals saw Spain, Turkey, Australia, and the USA securing a green card for the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, Turkey was eliminated by Spain with a 66:56 score, and Australia was beaten by the USA (score: 82:70). So, the last standing contestants in the FIBA World Championship for Women were Spain and the USA.
Turkey and Australia played for the bronze medal, whereby Australia secured the third place leaving Turkey behind with a 30-point difference. The USA and Spain entered the finale game on 5 October 2014, whereby the USA secured the gold medal with a 77:44 score and left as the champion of the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, whereby Spain took the almost-equally honourable silver medal.