'It's a real shame': Canadian women's 3x3 basketball team shut out of Olympic qualifying tournament
EDMONTON -- The Canadian women's 3x3 basketball team are probably good enough to qualify for this summer's Olympics, but may not get the chance.
Last week, the men's and women's teams for a pre-Olympic qualifying tournament were announced. While Canada's men made the cut, the women didn't due to a technicality.
"You can't have both genders from one country in the Olympics unless they're ranked 12th or higher in the world," said Paul Sir with Basketball Alberta.
Canada's men's team was ranked 18th in the world while the women were ranked 25th despite strong performances on the court.
"They won their last four tournaments," Sir said of the women's team. "They were beating everybody."
The low ranking is in part because basketball's governing body, Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA), and the International Olympic Committee consider the number of athletes playing the sport and events hosted by a given country.
"Unfortunately, Canada as a nation didn't have enough players to raise our ranking high enough to let them compete," said Sir. "It's a real shame."
The Tokyo 2020 Games will be the first time 3x3 basketball will be contested at the Olympics.
With files from Adam Cook