Canadian Senior Women National Team Olympic Qualifying Tournament Preview

nayo raincock-ekunkwe, new york liberty.

The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team is set to face in the final Olympic qualifying tournament which tips off on Thursday afternoon in Ostend, Belgium. Canada will face Belgium, Sweden and Japan in this tournament.

In order to qualify for the Olympics, Canada must finish in the top 2 as Japan has already qualified for the tournament since they are the host nation.

Canada will be tested in this final Olympic qualifying tournament as Belgium, Sweden and Japan are worthy opponents.

Belgium, the host nation is ranked 9th in the world but have never qualified for the Summer Olympics before. They hope to change that led by Washington Mystics forward Emma Messeman who is apart of the reigning WNBA champions. Kim Mestdagh and Ann Wauters are also familiar names that will try to help Belgium make history. They will be a tough team to battle.

Japan, which does not need this tournament to qualify as they have already qualified due to the Olympic host nation, are ranked 10th in the world. They finished in 8th place at the 2016 Olympics. They will still be a tough team to face as they have nothing to lose and are using this tournament as a tune up for the Olympics.

Sweden, who is ranked 22nd in the world, has never qualified for the Olympics just like Belgium. They are led by New York Liberty forward/center Amanda Zahui B. Farhiya Abdi and Elin Eldebrink are familiar names that aim to make history.

Canada will be led by veteran forwards Kim Gaucher and Miranda Ayim and WNBA stars Kia Nurse and Natalie Achonwa. 5 players have played in the 2019 WNBA season (Achonwa, Nurse, Alexander, Carleton, Raincock-Ekunwe) and Jamie Scott has some WNBA experience. 2 players (Amihere and Pellington) are currently playing in college. Canada has tons of experience in this group and to view the final roster, please read the press release Canada Basketball put out today.

Canada faces Belgium on Thursday, February 6th at 2:35 pm EST/11:35 am PST on CBC Network and streaming online at cbc.ca. Canada faces Sweden on Saturday, February 8th at 2:35 pm EST/11:35 am PST on CBC Network and online at cbc.ca. Canada’s final game will be against Japan on Sunday, February 9th at 12:05 pm EST/9:05 am PST and that will also air on CBC Network and online at cbc.ca. To Americans, all three games are available to stream online on ESPN+.

Canada is ranked a program high of 4th place but it has bigger goals in mind as the team prepares for the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament. It will face tough opponents in this tourney but Canada now has plenty of veteran experience, youth and grittiness within the squad that will help them obtain a top 2 finish and all of Canada will be able to witness it as it is available through CBC.

The 2020 Summer Olympics games will tip off from July 24th to August 9 in Tokyo, Japan.

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