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Czech Republic Prepares for FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament

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Summer is here, and so are several major sports tournaments. Already it has been a pivotal summer of sports for countries around the world. Though, that’s not to say everyone is on the same playing field. Spain was devastated by Rafael Nadal’s surprise loss to Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of the French Open 2021, as the 35-year-old was going for his 14th French Open title and playing on his preferred surface — clay. Yet, some countries appear to be thriving more than others, particularly the Czech Republic.

At Euro 2020, the Czech Republic won their first group stage match against Scotland on June 14, marking the Czechs first win against the Scots since 2010. Meanwhile, Czechia made history in tennis the day before, after Czech-born Barbora Krejcikova and her partner Katerina Siniakova won the French Open women’s doubles final in Paris. Before the match, Krejcikova and Siniakova had betting odds of 4/7 to win, and such a result means it is the third Grand Slam doubles title Barbora Krejcikova has won. She is only 25-years-old.

Looking ahead, the Czech Republic has two more major competitions to prepare for: the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, and the 2020 FIBA Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Victoria, Canada.

What Is The 2020 FIBA Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT)?

The 2020 FIBA Men’s OQT in Victoria, Canada, is one of the four basketball tournaments challenged by 24 national teams this summer. The top teams earn a place in the 2020 Summer Olympics basketball tournament. The Czech Republic’s national team will be in Group B along with Uruguay and Turkey. Group A consists of Canada, China, and Greece.

The tournament begins on June 29, with the Czechs playing their first game against Turkey on June 30, and ends on July 4. There will also be OQTs played in Lithuania, Croatia, and Serbia; the top teams of each tournament will face off against countries that have already secured a place at the Olympics, including Argentina, Japan, Iran, and the United States.

What Do We Know About The Czech Team?

The Czech Republic has named an 18-man squad for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Most notably, Tomas Satoransky and nine other players who were part of the Czech Republic team that finished in sixth place at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup are in the squad. Seasoned center Jan Vesely and Jan Zidek, the grandson of Jiri Zidek Sr., arguably one of the best Czech basketball players ever, were also named in the squad for the tournament.

Between making history in soccer and tennis already this summer, the Czech Republic is going to have a busy couple of months in basketball, all in the hopes of reaching the Summer Olympics in Japan. Even if basketball doesn’t work out, the Czech Republic will still be present in the Olympics. In fact, the country has already made history after adding three jumping riders to its Olympic equestrian roster after accepting Ukraine’s forfeited spot. Not a bad start to summer 2021, right?

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