The United States women’s basketball team was proclaimed Olympic champion this Sunday by seventh consecutive time after beating Japan 90-75 in the final of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
This gold is the ninth conquered by the ‘Team USA’ in eleven participations in the Olympic Games. Also the fifth, in a personal capacity, for Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, 40 and 39 years old respectively.
Both enter a select club of athletes crowned in five different editions of the Games, joining the British rower Steve Redgrave, the German canoeist Birgit Fischer, the Hungarian fencers Pal Kovacs, Aladar Gerevich and the Italian Valentina Vezzali, and the German riders Reiner Klimke and Isabell Werth.
United States remains undefeated in official women’s basketball competitions since September 2006 and has 55 consecutive victories in Olympic Games matches. An exceptional streak that began in Barcelona-1992, with the duel won to then hang the bronze.
In the final against Japan, Team USA imposed its superiority and logic. The Japanese had arrived at this stage after eliminating Belgium in the quarterfinals and France in the semifinals, bringing a new air to the landscape of women’s basketball.
The final was followed in the stands by footballer Megan Rapinoe, bronze in Tokyo-2020 with the US team and Sue Bird’s partner.
Also present were men’s national team players Jrue Holiday and Bam Adebayo, as well as coach Gregg Popovich.
On Saturday, the United States had achieved gold in men’s basketball by defeating France 87-82.
Relying on an aggressive defense, the ‘Team USA’ distanced themselves early (18-5), after six minutes of play, before the Japanese began to react thanks to Nako Motohashi, until they approached six units (20-14) .
The second quarter was that of the great dominance of Brittney Griner (18 points at halftime, 30 at the end) and the United States came to take a 14-point lead, which at halftime was a margin of 11 (50-39).
In the second half, the American steamroller continued in the Super Arena and the North Americans extended their lead to 75-56 before the fourth quarter.
The award of women’s basketball. Photo: AFP
There, without forcing the machine, the United States controlled the situation well against a very surprising Japanese team that could not climb Mount Rushmore of women’s basketball to reach Olympus.
In any event, the host team celebrated their silver as a great success.
Until now, Japan’s best result in women’s basketball at the Olympics was fifth in Montreal-1976.
With information from AFP