Women’s Basketball At Olympic Games
There have so far been 10 Women’s Basketball tournaments at the Olympics with the 2016 Rio Games all set to be the 11th tournament. With respect to success in the tournament, it has mainly been about one nation. This is because the USA Women’s Basketball team has triumphed 7 times with the other three successes going to the USSR or a unified team from the nations that previously made up the USSR.
This can be classed as American dominance in the tournament but strangely enough, the Soviet Union won the first two tournaments. The very first Women’s Basketball tournament at the Olympic Games took place in 1976 where the USSR triumphed by virtue of topping the group. The Soviets had a 5-0 record in the group while the USA, who came second, held a 3-2 record and took the Silver medal over Bulgaria thanks to their head to head record.
1980 was the only year USA never won a medal… as they never competed
Four years later, the tournament was in Moscow and the American’s boycotted the event. This allowed the Soviets a clear run and in the first ever Olympic Basketball Women’s tournament final, the score was USSR 104 – Bulgaria 73. In 1984, the tournament was held in Los Angeles and this time the Soviet Union boycotted. This provided the chance for USA to win their first gold medal, which they did, winning the final 85-55 against South Korea.
In 1988, the tournament was in Seoul and the score in the final was USA 77 – Yugoslavia 70. In Barcelona, the winners were the Unified Team (made up of 12 of the 15 former Soviet Socialist Republic) and they defeated China by a score of 76-66. USA took the Bronze medal by defeating Cuba 88-74.
American dominance has been a feature since 1996
The 1996 Olympic Games were held in Atlanta and the Americans triumphed, as they have done in every Olympic tournament to date.
- 1996 Atlanta – USA 111 – 87 Brazil
- 2000 Sydney – USA 76 – 54 Australia
- 2004 Athens – USA 74 – 63 Australia
- 2008 Beijing – USA 92 – 65 Australia
- 2012 London – USA 86 – 50 France
Australia had a strong run, getting to three finals in a row between 2000 and 2008 and in 2012, the team from down under clinched the Bronze Medal. With the Bronze in 1996 as well, Australia have finished in the Medal positions for 5 Olympic Games in a row, and they have to be seen as a good option to clinch a medal again. If you fancy betting on Australia to finish in the medal positions, you will find them listed at 1.66.
It is very hard to suggest anything other than another American win in the 2016 Olympic Games. If it goes to plan and obviously the bookmakers think Team USA will win, listing them at 1.10, this will be the 6th tournament in a row when the USA side took Gold. With everyone else hoping for an American slip, there will be pressure on the Americans, but they should be able to handle it.