The International Basketball Association (FIBA) U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup kicks off tomorrow (August 7) ââin Debrecen, Hungary, with the United States aiming for their eighth gold medal at the last nine competitions.
Sixteen countries will face each other in four groups that will determine the draw for the knockout stage, where the teams ranked first will be matched with those who finish bottom, and the teams ranked second will face the teams ranked third.
The matches will take place in the Hodos Imre Sports Hall in Debrecen and the OlÃ¡h GÃ¡bor Sports Hall, hosting 1,000 and 600 supporters respectively.
International visitors will be required to undergo a negative polymerase chain reaction test within 72 hours before flying to Hungary, upon arrival and within five days of their stay in the country.
They will need to show either proof of these negative tests or a vaccination to be allowed entry.
The first game was at 10 a.m. CEST (11 a.m. BST) as Mali faced the Czech Republic in Group D, followed by Canada against Japan three hours later.
Spain faces South Korea in Group C at 10:30 a.m. CEST, and France faces Brazil at 1:30 p.m. CEST.
Group A starts at 4 p.m. CEST, with Australia v Egypt, and Italy’s clash with the United States will be the last match of Matchday 1 at 7:30 p.m. CEST.
Host nation Hungary will start their campaign in Group B against the tournament’s lowest-ranked team, Chinese Taipei, at 4:30 p.m., with Russia v Argentina in the same pool at 7 p.m. CEST.
The United States won the event for the eighth time in Thailand in 2019 and has won seven of the last eight U19 Women’s Basketball World Cups, losing only to Russia in the final in Italy in 2017.
The world number one team in the FIBA âârankings is set to compete for gold again, but will face what appears to be a difficult group.
Their opener is against the 2019 European Under-18 Champions in Italy, and their second outing on Sunday August 8 is a repeat of the 2019 final against Australia.
Hungary were finalists at the 2019 European Women’s Under-18 Championships and hope to capitalize on a home advantage in a difficult group that includes the only country to break the recent US monopoly on this event, the Russia.
Spain and France appear to be a solid couple in Group C – they are ranked second and third in the world respectively, and the Spanish team were bronze medalists in Bangkok two years ago and silver medalists in 2009 and 2011, while France finished second in 2013.
Group D includes former champions Czech Republic, who triumphed at home in 2001, and Canada, who finished third in 2017.
The group stage will end on Tuesday (August 10) and will be followed by the round of 16 on Wednesday (August 11).
After a day of rest, the quarter-finals are scheduled for August 13, the semi-finals the next day and the final on Sunday August 15.
The losing teams in the round of 16 will also play ranking matches to determine the final standings of the competition, meaning that each country will play seven matches in the tournament.
It’s the 14the edition of the U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup, with the 2023 tournament to be held in the Spanish capital Madrid.