EuroBasket Women

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EuroBasket Women
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event EuroBasket Women 2023
EuroBasket Women.png
SportBasketball
Founded1938; 84 years ago (1938)
Inaugural season1938
No. of teams16
CountriesFIBA Europe member associations
ContinentFIBA Europe (Europe)
Most recent
champion(s)
 Serbia (2nd title)
Most titles Soviet Union
(21 titles)
Related
competitions
FIBA Women's European Championship for Small Countries
EuroBasket
Official websiteEuroBasket.com
FIBA Europe

EuroBasket Women is a biennial international women's basketball competition held between the nations of FIBA Europe for women's national teams. EuroBasket Women is also used as a qualifying tournament for the FIBA Women's World Cup and also the Olympic Games.

History[edit]

The first tournament was held in 1938 in Fascist Italy, with participation of only five national teams. Despite losing to Lithuania (21–23), the host team won all other matches and captured inaugural title thanks to better head-to-head point difference among Top 3 teams. Lithuania and Poland took silver and bronze medals respectively.

The Second World War (1939–1945), which began the following year, interrupted the organization of women's basketball tournaments for a long time. The next continental championship was held in Hungary only 12 years later, in 1950. From 1950 to 1980, women's championships were held biennially each even year – unlike men's European Basketball Championship which were held each odd year. This tournament marked beginning of the era of dominance of the Eastern European teams which lasted for next four decades. In the last and decisive match of the final round hosts met with Soviet team. Hungary led after first half (24–22), but in the second half Soviets players looked much better. They managed to achieve victory (45–32) and to won its maiden European title. Czechoslovakia took bronze medals. At the next European Championship which was held in Moscow in 1952, Soviet team proved own dominance by beating Czechoslovakia and Hungary with margin of 23 points (52–29) and 30 points respectively (71–41). Two years later in Yugoslavia, Soviet team captured European title for third time by beating Czechoslovakia with margin of 7 points (69–62) in a decisive match of the final round. Bulgaria took bronze European Championship medals for first time. On the next tournament which was held in Czechoslovakia in 1956, Soviet team took gold medals for fourth time in a row by beating Hungarians in the final match (49–41) while hosts took bronze.

1958 European Championships which was held in Łódź, Poland became remarkable event. Soviet Union, the winner of four previous tournaments, lost European title for first time. In the decisive match of final round, Bulgaria led by Vanya Voynova managed to beat Soviet team in overtime (54–51) and to break Soviet dominance. This victory was remarkable – it's enough to say that this defeat (alongside with Soviet defeat to United States at the 1957 World Championship) remained the only two defeats in the history of participation of Soviet team at all international basketball competitions during very long time – till 1986. Next year Soviet Union took revenge by beating Bulgaria in the decisive match of the 1959 World Championship which was held in Moscow (51–38). The next European Championship was held in 1960 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Soviet team returned European title although this victory was more difficult. They achieved victory over Czechoslovakia (future bronze medalists) with margin of just two points (58–56). In the decisive match of final round, Soviet team again met with Bulgaria. After first half, Bulgarians led with margin of 9 points (22–13). However, in second half Soviet players managed to equal score and then achieve victory in overtime (52–50). Last 5 minutes and overtime of this match were played in an indoor hall of the National Stadium due to rain. Two years later European Championship was held in France. At the group round, Soviet Union defeated Czechoslovakia only in overtime (51–49). Later both teams reached final match where Soviet team won with a bigger advantage (63–46). At the next 1964 European Championships which was held in Hungary, Soviet team won third title in a row by beating Bulgaria in the final match with margin of just two points (55–53). Two years later at the 1966 European Championships in Romania, Soviet team won over Czechoslovakia in a final match (74–66).

1968 European Championships which was held in Italy became debut for legendary center Uļjana (Iulijaka) Semjonova. This giant 2.10-meter tall player played key role in Soviet team for next 18 years. From 1968 to 1985, she played at 10 European Championships and always won gold. Before Semjonova's debut, the vast majority of decisive matches were ended with favour of Soviet team but with relatively close margin. With Semjonova in the squad, the superiority of Soviet Union over opponents became overwhelming. Other prominent European basketball national teams at that time, such as Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria or Hungary were huge step behind the Soviet Union. Soviet team played 74 games during these 10 tournaments, and the slimmest margin of victory was 16 points. Another architect of the success of Soviet basketball was Lidiya Alekseyeva (1924–2014) who took direct participation in 16 Soviet victories at the European Championships – firstly as team captain (4 titles from 1950 to 1956), then as assistant coach (1962) and later as a head coach of national team (record 11 titles from 1964 to 1983). Soviet team was unbeaten not only in Europe, but also in the world. From 1959 to 1985, Soviet Union won all international competitions in which they participated without losing any match - 14 European Championships, 6 World Championships (1959, 1964, 1967, 1971, 1975 and 1983) and 2 Olympic tournaments (1976 and 1980).

After the 1980 Olympic Games and 1980 European Championships, it was decided to hold women's continental tournament biennially each odd year – just like men's European Basketball Championship. Soviet team continued to win but in late 1980s, as a result of changing of generation, their superiority became not such overwhelming as it was before. In 1986 they suffered first defeats at international competition for 28 years - at first, they lost to United States at the decisive match of the 1986 Goodwill Games with margin of 23 points (60–83) and next month they lost to US team with margin of 20 points (88–108) in the final match of home World Championship (both matches were played in Moscow). Nevertheless, Soviet team continued to dominate at European area. They won 1987 European Championship held in Spain after beating Czechoslovakia (89–81) in semifinals and Yugoslavia (83–73) in the final match. But next year at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Yugoslavia managed to perform better - they took silver medals by losing just 7 points to US team in the final match (70–77) while Soviet team surprisingly failed to reach final and unexpectively finished only at third place for first time in their history. At the group round of the 1989 European Championship held in Bulgaria, Soviet team defeated Czechoslovakia and Netherlands with margin of just 3 points (78–75 and 59–56 respectively) and then reached final where defeated Czechoslovakia once again with same margin (64–61). But at the 1990 World Championship in Malaysia, Soviet Union lost in the second group round to Czechoslovakia (79–82) and Yugoslavia (63–64) and finished only at fifth place. It was first and only time when Soviet team failed to reach podium at the international competition where they participated. Like two years ago, Yugoslavia took silver medals after losing to US in the final match (78–88).

At the next 1991 European Championship held in Israel, Yugoslavia managed to beat Soviet team at the group round (75–74). It was only second defeat of Soviet Union at the continental championships and the first since 1958. Despite this defeat, Soviet team reached final match where met with Yugoslavia once again. In this final, Yugoslavia led with margin of 14 points after first half (53–39), but in the second half Soviet players managed to change situation and won match with margin of 13 points (97–84). It was last participation of Soviet team at the European Championships. Their dominance at this tournament was simply unimaginable. The facts speak for itself: participation in 22 championships resulted in 21 titles as European Champions, 151 matches and 149 wins (the only two defeats: in overtime to Bulgaria in 1958 and one-point defeat by Yugoslavia in 1991), including 114 consecutive wins between 1958 and 1991. It's hard to imagine that any other team from any other sport could ever equal these amazing achievement. Next year the former Soviet players who completed for Unified Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain as a result of Soviet Union's dissolution in December 1991, managed to achieve surprising success after shocking victory over United States in semifinals (79–73) and victory over China in the final match (76–66). There was last participation of Soviet basketball at the international competitions and true "true swan song" of Soviet team which ceased to exist after that.

During four decades, vast majority of the European Championships ended with very predictable results - Soviet Union took gold medals while silver and bronze medals went to other Eastern European teams. However, in early 1990s situation totally changed after dissolution of Soviet Union, SFR Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. It opened way for the success of other national teams and made European Championships much less predictable. At the 1993 European Championships which was held in Italy, Slovakia took bronze medals and became only newly formed national team who managed to reach podium. For the first time, two Western European teams played in the final match – Spain took their maiden European title by beating France (63–53). It's remarkable that not one of medalists reached the podium at the next 1995 European Championships which was held in Czech Republic. Led by Olympic Champions Maryna Tkachenko and Olena Zhyrko, Ukraine became the first post-Soviet national team to win European title after victories over Russia in semifinals (69–64) and over Italy in the final match (77–66). Russian team also took podium after beating Slovakia in the bronze medal match (69–50). 1997 European Championships became successful for Lithuania who beat Slovakia in the final match (72–62) while Germany took bronze medals and reached podium for first time after the German reunification. Two years later Poland achieved their maiden success at the home 1999 European Championships by beating France in the final match (59–56) while Russia took bronze medals. In 2001 France also won maiden European title at home championship after victory over Russia in the final match (73–68).

The next two tournaments finished by final matches between Russia and Czech Republic. In 2003, Russia won with score 59–56 and achieved their first European title after dissolution of Soviet Union. In 2005, Czech Republic took revenge (72–70) and also achieved their maiden trophy while Spain won bronze medals for third time in a row. Two years later Russia won European title for second time after victory over Spain in the final match (74–68) while Belarus took bronze medals and reached podium for first time. In 2009, France defeated Russia in the final match (57–53) and became European Champions for second time while Spain finished 3rd. Two years later Russia won European Championship for third time by beating Turkey women's national basketball team in the final match (59–42). Nevertheless, it was first European medals for Turkish team. France won bronze medals. At next four European Championship, French team reach final matches but lost all four matches. In 2013 at the home championship, they lost final to Spanish team with margin of just one point (69–70). In 2015, French players lost final match to Serbia who won European title for first time. 2017 and 2019 finals were ended in favour of Spain who defeated France (71–55 and 86–66 respectively) thus becoming first national team since 1991 years who managed to defend their own European title. The next 2021 European Championship was co-hosted by France and Spain. It was won by Serbia – for second time in history. France lost final match for fifth time in a row (54–63) while Belgium finished in third place.

The 38 European Championship tournaments have been won by 11 different nations. The most successful nation is the now defunct Soviet Union with 21 titles. The other European Championship winners are Spain, with four titles; Russia, with three titles; France and Serbia, with two titles each; as well as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine, with one title each.

Results[edit]

Summaries[edit]

Year Host Gold medal game Bronze medal game
Gold Score Silver Bronze Score Fourth place
1938
Details
 Italy
Italy
Round robin
Lithuania

Poland
Round robin
France
1950
Details
 Hungary
Soviet Union
Round robin
Hungary

Czechoslovakia
Round robin
France
1952
Details
 Soviet Union
Soviet Union
Round robin
Czechoslovakia

Hungary
Round robin
Bulgaria
1954
Details
 Yugoslavia
Soviet Union
Round robin
Czechoslovakia

Bulgaria
Round robin
Hungary
1956
Details
 Czechoslovakia
Soviet Union
49–41
Hungary

Czechoslovakia
91–60
Bulgaria
1958
Details
 Poland
Bulgaria
Round robin
Soviet Union

Czechoslovakia
Round robin
Yugoslavia
1960
Details
 Bulgaria
Soviet Union
Round robin
Bulgaria

Czechoslovakia
Round robin
Poland
1962
Details
 France
Soviet Union
63–46
Czechoslovakia

Bulgaria
48–36
Romania
1964
Details
 Hungary
Soviet Union
55–53
Bulgaria

Czechoslovakia
68–47
Romania
1966
Details
 Romania
Soviet Union
74–66
Czechoslovakia

East Germany
65–60
Romania
1968
Details
 Italy
Soviet Union
Round robin
Yugoslavia

Poland
Round robin
East Germany
1970
Details
 Netherlands
Soviet Union
94–33
France

Yugoslavia
77–66
Bulgaria
1972
Details
 Bulgaria
Soviet Union
Round robin
Bulgaria

Czechoslovakia
Round robin
France
1974
Details
 Italy
Soviet Union
Round robin
Czechoslovakia

Italy
Round robin
Hungary
1976
Details
 France
Soviet Union
Round robin
Czechoslovakia

Bulgaria
Round robin
France
1978
Details
 Poland
Soviet Union
Round robin
Yugoslavia

Czechoslovakia
Round robin
France
1980
Details
 Yugoslavia
Soviet Union
95–49
Poland

Yugoslavia
61–57
Czechoslovakia
1981
Details
 Italy
Soviet Union
85–42
Poland

Czechoslovakia
76–74
Yugoslavia
1983
Details
 Hungary
Soviet Union
91–70
Bulgaria

Hungary
82–79
Yugoslavia
1985
Details
 Italy
Soviet Union
103–69
Bulgaria

Hungary
103–76
Czechoslovakia
1987
Details
 Spain
Soviet Union
83–73
Yugoslavia

Hungary
75–67
Czechoslovakia
1989
Details
 Bulgaria
Soviet Union
64–61
Czechoslovakia

Bulgaria
79–69
Yugoslavia
1991
Details
 Israel
Soviet Union
97–84
Yugoslavia

Hungary
65–61
Bulgaria
1993
Details
 Italy
Spain
63–53
France

Slovakia
68–67
Italy
1995
Details
 Czech Republic
Ukraine
77–66
Italy

Russia
69–50
Slovakia
1997
Details
 Hungary
Lithuania
72–62
Slovakia

Germany
86–61
Hungary
1999
Details
 Poland
Poland
59–56
France

Russia
78–49
Slovakia
2001
Details
 France
France
73–68
Russia

Spain
89–74
Lithuania
2003
Details
 Greece
Russia
59–56
Czech Republic

Spain
87–81
Poland
2005
Details
 Turkey
Czech Republic
72–70
Russia

Spain
83–65
Lithuania
2007
Details
 Italy
Russia
74–68
Spain

Belarus
72–63
Latvia
2009
Details
 Latvia
France
57–53
Russia

Spain
63–56
Belarus
2011
Details
 Poland
Russia
59–42
Turkey

France
63–56
Czech Republic
2013
Details
 France
Spain
70–69
France

Turkey
92–71
Serbia
2015
Details
 Hungary
 Romania

Serbia
76–68
France

Spain
74–58
Belarus
2017
Details
 Czech Republic
Spain
71–55
France

Belgium
78–45
Greece
2019
Details
 Latvia
 Serbia

Spain
86–66
France

Serbia
81–55
Great Britain
2021
Details
 France
 Spain

Serbia
63–54
France

Belgium
77–69
Belarus
2023
Details
 Slovenia
 Israel

Medal table[edit]

Countries in italics no longer compete at the European Championships.

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Soviet Union211022
2 Spain41510
3 Russia3328
4 France28111
5 Serbia2013
6 Bulgaria15410
7 Poland1225
8 Italy1113
9 Czech Republic1102
 Lithuania1102
11 Ukraine1001
12 Czechoslovakia07815
13 Yugoslavia0426
14 Hungary0257
15 Slovakia0112
 Turkey0112
17 Belgium0022
18 Belarus0011
 East Germany0011
 Germany0011
Totals (20 nations)383838114

Participating nations[edit]

Nation Italy
1938
Hungary
1950
Soviet Union
1952
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
1954
Czechoslovakia
1956
Poland
1958
Bulgaria
1960
France
1962
Hungary
1964
Romania
1966
Italy
1968
Netherlands
1970
Bulgaria
1972
Italy
1974
France
1976
Poland
1978
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
1980
Italy
1981
Hungary
1983
 Austria 10th 9th 8th 8th 10th 11th 12th
 Belarus played as part of the Soviet Union
 Belgium 8th 10th 10th 7th 12th 12th 13th
 Bosnia and Herzegovina played as part of Yugoslavia
 Bulgaria 4th 3rd 4th 1st 2nd 3rd 2nd 7th 5th 4th 2nd 5th 3rd 7th 5th 5th 2nd
 Croatia played as part of Yugoslavia
 Czech Republic played as part of Czechoslovakia
 Czechoslovakia 3rd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 2nd 3rd 2nd 9th 5th 3rd 2nd 2nd 3rd 4th 3rd 6th
 Denmark 10th 13th 13th
 East Germany 12th 9th 6th 3rd 4th 7th
 England 14th
 Finland 11th 11th 12th 12th
 France 4th 4th 7th 6th 7th 6th 8th 10th 11th 11th 2nd 4th 7th 4th 4th 11th
 Germany 9th 15th 12th 13th 10th 13th 12th 10th 12th
 Great Britain X X
 Greece
 Hungary 2nd 3rd 4th 2nd 7th 9th 7th 8th 9th 10th 10th 6th 4th 8th 6th 7th 9th 3rd
 Israel 11th
 Italy 1st 5th 6th 7th 6th 7th 9th 9th 10th 6th 9th 10th 3rd 7th 9th 9th 7th| 5th
 Latvia played as part of the Soviet Union
 Lithuania 2nd played as part of the Soviet Union
 Moldova played as part of the Soviet Union
 Montenegro played as part of Yugoslavia
 Netherlands 12th 12th 8th 8th 5th 12th 7th 11th 11th 11th 10th 6th 6th 8th
 Poland 3rd 6th 5th 5th 5th 4th 6th 5th 8th 3rd 6th 9th 9th 6th 5th 2nd 2nd 7th
 Romania 7th 10th 10th 6th 4th 4th 4th 8th 8th 5th 6th 9th 8th 8th 8th 9th
 Russia played as part of the Soviet Union
 Scotland 16th
 Serbia played as part of Yugoslavia
 Slovakia played as part of Czechoslovakia
 Slovenia played as part of Yugoslavia
 Soviet Union 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
 Spain 12th 10th 11th 10th 11th
 Sweden 13th 11th 10th
  Switzerland 5th 9th 8th 14th
 Turkey
 Ukraine played as part of the Soviet Union
 Yugoslavia 5th 9th 4th 5th 5th 7th 6th 2nd 3rd 8th 8th 5th 2nd 3rd 4th 4th
Total 5 12 12 10 16 10 10 10 10 12 13 12 12 13 13 13 14 12 12
Nation Italy
1985
Spain
1987
Bulgaria
1989
Israel
1991
Italy
1993
Czech Republic
1995
Hungary
1997
Poland
1999
France
2001
Greece
2003
Turkey
2005
Italy
2007
Latvia
2009
Poland
2011
France
2013
Hungary
Romania
2015
Czech Republic
2017
Latvia
Serbia
2019
France
Spain
2021
Israel
Slovenia
2023
Overall
Appearances
 Austria 7
 Belarus see Soviet Union 3rd 4th 9th 5th 4th 15th 13th 4th 8
 Belgium 12th 6th 7th 3rd 5th 3rd 13
 Bosnia and Herzegovina see Yugoslavia 12th 10th 5th 3
 Bulgaria 2nd 9th 3rd 4th 6th 22
 Croatia see Yugoslavia 8th 8th 13th 5th 11th 12th 11th 7
 Czech Republic see Czechoslovakia 7th 9th 5th 9th 2nd 1st 5th 9th 4th 6th 11th 13th 15th 15th 14
 Czechoslovakia 4th 4th 2nd 5th defunct 22
 Denmark 3
 East Germany reunited with Germany 6
 England X X X X 1
 Finland 12th 5
 France 8th 8th 8th 2nd 11th 2nd 1st 5th 5th 8th 1st 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 33
 Germany 14th 3rd 12th 11th 11th 13th 15
 Great Britain 11th 9th 20th 4th 4
 Greece 10th 9th 10th 13th 5th 13th 10th 4th 16th 9
 Hungary 3rd 3rd 7th 3rd 8th 12th 4th 7th 10th 13th 17th 12th 7th 31
 Israel 8th 12th 13th 13th 13th Q 7
 Italy 7th 5th 5th 7th 4th 2nd 11th 11th 9th 6th 8th 15th 7th 9th 9th 33
 Latvia see Soviet Union 9th 6th 4th 7th 8th 15th 13th 6th 11th 9
 Lithuania see Soviet Union 5th 1st 6th 4th 4th 6th 11th 7th 14th 8th 11
 Moldova see Soviet Union 6th 7th 2
 Montenegro see Yugoslavia see Serbia and Montenegro 6th 10th 7th 16th 12th 12th 6
 Netherlands 11th 6th 16
 Poland 6th 10th 6th 5th 1st 6th 4th 7th 11th 11th 18th 29
 Romania 9th 11th 13th 12th 12th 13th 19th 23
 Russia see Soviet Union 7th 3rd 6th 3rd 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 13th 6th 9th 8th 6th 15
 Scotland X X X X 1
 Serbia see Yugoslavia 8th 9th 11th 13th 4th 1st 11th 3rd 1st 9
 Slovakia see Czechoslovakia 3rd 4th 2nd 4th 8th 7th 8th 13th 12th 9th 8th 13th 12
 Slovenia see Yugoslavia 14th 10th 10th Q 4
 Soviet Union 1st 1st 1st 1st defunct 22
 Spain 10th 6th 1st 9th 5th 3rd 3rd 3rd 2nd 3rd 9th 1st 3rd 1st 1st 7th 21
 Sweden 7th 7th 14th 6th 8th 8
  Switzerland 4
 Turkey 8th 9th 9th 2nd 3rd 5th 5th 14th 14th 9
 Ukraine see Soviet Union 1st 10th 11th 11th 13th 16th 16th 10th 16th 9
 Yugoslavia 5th 2nd 4th 2nd 10th 8th 7th 5th defunct 24
Total 12 12 8 8 8 14 12 12 12 12 12 16 16 16 16 20 16 16 16 16

Most successful players[edit]

Boldface denotes active basketball players and highest medal count among all players (including these who not included in these tables) per type.

Multiple gold medalists[edit]

Rank Player Country From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Uļjana (Iulijaka) Semjonova  Soviet Union 1968 1985 10 10
2 Olga Sukharnova  Soviet Union 1972 1987 9 9
3 Olesya Barel  Soviet Union 1980 1989 6 6
Olga Buryakina (Yerofeyeva)  Soviet Union 1978 1987 6 6
Nadezhda Olkhova (Shuvayeva)  Soviet Union 1974 1983 6 6
Tatyana Ovechkina (Kabayeva)  Soviet Union 1970 1980 6 6
Galina Savitskaya (Krisevich)  Soviet Union 1980 1989 6 6
8 Lyudmila Bazarevich (Kukanova)  Soviet Union 1962 1970 5 5
Skaidrīte Budovska (Smildziņa)  Soviet Union 1960 1968 5 5
Yelena Chausova  Soviet Union 1978 1985 5 5
Nelli Feryabnikova (Bilmayer)  Soviet Union 1970 1978 5 5
Nina Poznanskaya  Soviet Union 1956 1966 5 5
Nadezhda Zakharova  Soviet Union 1968 1976 5 5

Multiple medalists[edit]

The table shows players who have won at least 7 medals in total at the Eurobasket Women.

Rank Player Country From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Uļjana (Iulijaka) Semjonova  Soviet Union 1968 1985 10 10
2 Olga Sukharnova  Soviet Union 1972 1987 9 9
3 Laia Palau  Spain 2003 2019 3 1 4 8
4 Maria Stepanova  Russia 1999 2011 3 3 1 7
5 Endéné Miyem  France 2009 2021 1 5 1 7
6 Milena Vecková (Blahoutová)  Czechoslovakia 1952 1964 3 4 7

Tournament awards[edit]

Most recent award winners (2021)
Year Winner
2021 Serbia Sonja Vasić
Year Player Position Team
2021 Julie Allemand Guard  Belgium
Sonja Vasić Forward  Serbia
Endéné Miyem Forward  France
Emma Meesseman Center  Belgium
Jonquel Jones Center  Bosnia and Herzegovina

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • "Women Basketball European Championships Archive". todor66.com. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  • "EuroBasket Women : presentation and medal winners". the-sports.org. Retrieved 15 June 2013.

External links[edit]