“No one would have thought that”: DBB women qualified for the Olympics for the first time

WITHoh you are writing history. Always attacking with an indefatigable fighting spirit, rising from the ground in pain and yet quick on the ball and, above all, accurate: Satu Sabally from Berlin led the women’s basketball team to the Olympic Games.

“It was a fight, it was unpleasant to watch,” Leonie Fibich commented on her team’s 73-71 defeat in the final and decisive game of the Olympic qualification in Belem against hosts Brazil. Sabally scored 20 points and eleven rebounds, Fibich scored two more points. However, Sabally made twenty free throws at Arena Guilherme Paraense in front of 9,000 spectators. Due to injury, she was the number one opponent for the Brazilians.

She had been injured the previous day in the defeat to Australia, which followed the opening win over Serbia; She entered the decisive game with a cuff on her left shoulder and, unlike usual, threw a lot with her right. She jumped into action to call fouls.

“And voila!”

The pain that the blows, pushes and movements of her left hand caused her was written on her face – but only until the final siren. She then cheered with her teammates, untied her braid and, like the rest of the team, posed in a cap with the inscription: “Et voilà!” “Here you go” is a special triumph for the players.

“We are at the Olympic Games. Nobody would have thought that,” said Satu Sabally: “At the moment I love being there and being able to look at the rings in Paris.” “Satu was injured, she endured the pain,” praised Canada coach Lisa Thomaidis: ” If you have players like that, you can achieve a lot.”

Association President Ingo Weiss dreams of such a surprise as this qualification at the games. “We don’t just want to look at the Eiffel Tower, we also want to experience it,” he says. The German Basketball Association will compete with two teams. The men, who became world champions in the summer and are therefore favorites to win the Olympics, and the women begin their tournaments in Lille; only the final will be played in Paris.

The women’s performance is already a huge success. “This is phenomenal,” Weiss enthused, “It validates our work.” Two years ago, the association decided to provide more support and professional structures for women basketball players. The Women’s Bundesliga has raised the standards.

Over the past year, thanks to the European men’s championships in Cologne and Berlin, more than 30,000 girls and women took up basketball. Now the best of them have won the European Youth Championships and won a bronze medal at the 1997 European Championships, securing Germany’s first Olympic qualification.

This is just the beginning. The Lille Olympics, located just 250 kilometers west of Aachen and therefore easily accessible to German spectators, will be followed by the Women’s European Championships with a preliminary group in Berlin in 2025 and the Women’s World Championships in Berlin in 2026 – opportunities for women in quick succession to expand your home audience and strive for success just like men. “They all do it with passion,” Weiss said: “I’m an absolutely happy president.”

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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