From Eurohoops Team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Antwerp, which will compete in the 2024 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament, proudly set a new record on Thursday.
A packed Sports Palace hosted 13,700 spectators for the USA vs. Belgium game. The attendance was a new record for women’s team sports, FIBA confirmed.
With time running out, Brianna Stewart tipped the winning bucket to give the United States an 81-79 victory over the hosts. The Cats led for more than 34 minutes but surrendered in the final moments, falling to 0-1 within the four-team group. But the attendance booked a place in the record books for fans, for basketball, for Belgium, and for Antwerp.
“I would like to congratulate the Belgian national team and the community here. The environment was truly amazing and I congratulate them on this record attendance for women’s team sports.” U.S. national team head coach Cheryl Reeve said: “I have followed the growth of Belgian basketball and the passion and admiration this country has for them.”
The previous record for women’s team sports was set by 9,027 fans attending a Standard Liège football match.
Similar crowds are expected at Sport Palace as Belgium play Senegal on Friday and Nigeria on Sunday. France’s Rachid Meziane and his players are aiming to qualify for the Olympics for the second time in national team history.
Sopron in Hungary, Belem in Brazil and Xi’an in China will host the remaining three Olympic qualifying tournaments.
Photo credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL
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