FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup

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FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2022 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup
2018wbbwclogo.png
SportBasketball
Founded1953
Inaugural season1953
No. of teams12
CountryFIBA member nations
ContinentFIBA (International)
Most recent
champion(s)
 United States (10th title)
Most titles United States (10 titles)

The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, also known as the Basketball World Cup for Women or simply the FIBA Women's World Cup, is an international basketball tournament for women's national teams held quadrennially. It was created by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Its inaugural game was in 1953 in Chile, three years after the first men's World Championship. For most of its early history, it was not held in the same year as the men's championship, and was not granted a consistent quadrennial cycle until 1967. After the 1983 event, FIBA changed the scheduling so that the women's tournament would be held in even-numbered non-Olympic years, a change that had come to the men's tournament in 1970.

Formerly known as the FIBA World Championship for Women, the name changed shortly after its 2014 edition.[1] From 1986 through 2014, the tournament was held in the same year as the men's FIBA Basketball World Cup, though in different countries. After the 2014 editions of both championships, the men's event was rescheduled on a new four-year cycle (the latest in 2019) to avoid conflict with the men's FIFA World Cup, but the Women's World Cup remains on the same four-year cycle, with editions held in the same years as the men's FIFA World Cup and the final tournament played a few months after it. The next FIBA Women's World Cup will be held in 2022 in Australia. The number of participating women's FIBA teams has remained at 16, unlike the men's event, which has been expanded to 24 and further to 32 in 2019.[2]

History[edit]

Only four nations have won titles in the history of the Women's World Cup. The first tournament was held in 1953 in Chile, with the participation of ten national teams. Despite of losing to Brazil in the final round, the United States won the inaugural title. The next tournament which was held in 1957 in Brazil, marked the beginning of the long-time rivalry between the US team and Soviet team, who debuted at the World Championship. The first official match between these teams was played on the last day of the tournament, it was also the decisive match of the championship. Soviet players led after the first half (27–24), but in the second half the Americans managed to achieve victory (51–48) and won their second World title.

The third World Championship was held in 1959 in Moscow, Soviet Union. Due to international political tensions, caused by the Cold War, the United States and its allies didn't participate at this tournament, thus only 8 Eastern Bloc countries were able to play at the championship. In the absence of the US team, Soviet team won their maiden World title while Bulgaria took silver medals and Czechosovakia finished third. But at the next World Championship, which was held in 1964 in Peru, all these Eastern European teams also occupied whole podium – Soviet Union won their second title in a row, Czechosovakia won silver medals, Bulgaria took bronze while United States finished only at fourth place. This tournament marked the beginning of the era of dominance of the Soviet Union in world women's basketball, which lasted for next two decades. Under leadership of head coach Lidiya Alekseyeva, Soviet team won three next World Championships held in 1967 (Czechoslovakia), 1971 (Brazil) and 1975 (Colombia). The vast majority of medals at these tournaments were won by Eastern European and East Asian teams while United States even failed to qualify into final round. In general, from 1959 to 1975 Soviet team won record five titles in a row by winning all their 40 matches with margin of 10 points and more. Therefore, it was not surprising when the Soviet Union won the inaugural women's Olympic tournament which was held in 1976 in Montreal, Canada (by winning all five matches). Despite losing to the Japan and Soviet Union, the United States managed to finish second and capture silver medals while Bulgaria took Olympic bronze.

Unfortunately, the next world women's basketball major tournaments were clouded by a series of political boycotts caused by the Cold War. Firstly, the Soviet Union and four other Eastern Bloc countries withdrew from next World Championships which was held in 1979 in South Korea. In spite of losing to the hosts (82–94), United States won all other matches and captured a gold medals thanks to a better head-to-head point difference among the Top 3 teams. It was the third World title for the US team and the first since 1957. The next year the United States boycotted 1980 Olympic tournament which was held in Moscow, Soviet Union. In their absence, Soviet team captured their second Olympic title by winning all 6 matches while the Bulgaria and the Yugoslavia took silver and bronze medals respectively. Therefore, the next World Championship which was held in 1983 in Brazil became the first international major competition for seven years with participation of all the world's top teams. Soviet Union captured their sixth World title by winning all 10 of their matches, but this victory was the most difficult one. In the final group round, the Soviet team won the match against United States with a margin of only one point (85–84) after losing 40–49 at the end of first half. Later in the final match between these two teams the Soviets lost the first half with a score of 37–40, but also managed to achieve victory with a margin of only two points (84–82). Both of those matches had provided other teams with the knowledge that the Soviet Union wasn't as overwhelming a force as it was years prior. The China won their first World Championship medal after their victory over South Korea in a bronze medal match (71–63). Next year the Soviet Union and Hungary boycotted 1984 Olympic tournament which was held in Los Angeles, United States thus allowing the hosts to win their maiden Olympic title. South Korea and China took silver and bronze Olympic medals respectively.

Fortunately, all the world's top teams were able to partake in the next World Championship, which was held in 1986 in Soviet Union. One month before start of tournament, United States won the basketball tournament at the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow by beating Soviet Union with great margin of 23 points (83–60). Both reigning Olympic Champions (United States) and World Champions (Soviet Union) won all their group and semifinal matches, and then met in the final match in Moscow. In this final, US team once again proved their superiority by winning with a margin of 20 points (108–88) thus ending the remarkable winning streak of the Soviet team at the World Championships which lasted 56 consecutive matches. This victory became the turning point which marked beginning of the era of dominance of the United States in world women's basketball. At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the US team defended their Olympic title by beating the Yugoslavia in the final match (77–70) while the Soviet team failed to reach the final and unexpectively finished only in third place for the first time in their history. At the next World Championship which was held in 1990 in Malaysia, Soviet Union lost in the second group round to Czechosovakia (79–82) and Yugoslavia (63–64) and finished only at fifth place. It was the first and only time the Women's Soviet team had failed to reach the podium at the international competition level. Like two years prior, the United States and Yugoslavia once more met in the final match, and US team achieved victory again (88–78) by winning their sixth World title. Two years later, the United States went to 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain in the status of favorites to win - especially after the Yugoslavian team was banned from competition due to United Nations sanctions. However, the former Soviet players who competed for the Unified Team, as a result of Soviet Union's dissolution in December 1991, managed to achieve surprising success after a shocking victory over United States in the semifinals (79–73) and managed a victory over the China in the final match (76–66). The US team finished in third place. This was the last participation of Soviet style basketball at the international competitions, and the Soviet team ceased to exist after that.

The 12th World Championship was held in Australia in 1994, after the dissolution of Soviet Union, SFR Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Slovakia became only newly-formed national team who managed to qualify to this World Championship. In such situation, United States aimed to return at first position. However, they surprisingly lost semifinal match to Brazil (107–110) and once again finished only at the third place. In the final match, Brazil beat China (96–87) thus breaking US-Soviet duopoly on World Championship which lasted for 37 years. Two years later United States took revenge at the home 1996 Olympic tournament at Atlanta by beating Brazil in the final match with margin of 24 points (111–87). This victory marked beginning of US dominance at the Olympic Games – from 1996 to 2016, they won six Olympic titles in a row with remarkable winning streak of 49 consecutive matches at Olympic tournaments.

The 13th World Championship took place in 1998 in Germany. Russian team participated at this tournament for first time after dissolution of Soviet Union. In the second group round, they lost to United States with great margin of 36 points (60–96) but then managed to reach final where met with US team again. In the final match, United States faced with much stronger resistance – Russia led with margin of 9 points after first half (28–37), but in the second half US team managed to reach advantage and achieved final victory (71–65). Australia won World Championship bronze medals for first time in their history. The similar story took place at the next World Championship which took place in 2002 in ChinaUnited States defeated Russian team at the preliminary round with margin of 34 points (89–55) but later they faced with stronger resistance from Russian side in the final. Despite of this, US team won final match with margin of 5 points (79–74) and captured seventh World title while Australia took bronze medals for second time in a row. At the next 2006 World Championship in Brazil, Russian team lost to United States at the preliminary round (80–90) and then lost two more matches at the group stage. But after group stage, Russia achieved remarkable victory by beating US team in semifinals (75–68). It was only first defeat of United States for 12 years at the either Olympic Games or World Championships (and the last till nowadays). They finished only at third place after beating hosts in a bronze medal match (99–59). After this success, Russia was unable to show the same resistance to Australian team who won final match with margin of 17 points (91–74). Therefore, Australia became only fourth national team to win either Olympic or World title in the history of women's basketball.

The next World Championship took place in 2010 in Czech Republic. Many people waited for another match between United States and Russia in playoffs. Both teams won all their group matches but then Russia suffered shocking defeat to Belarus in the quarterfinals (53–70). The defending champions, Australia also surprisingly lost quarterfinal match to hosts - Czech team (68–79). In the semifinals, Czech Republic beat Belarus in overtime (81–77) and reach final match for the first time after dissolution of Czechoslovakia. However, in the final match United States looked stronger and managed to return World title after victory with margin of 20 points (89–69). Spain won World Championship medals for first time in their history after beating Belarus in a bronze medal match (77–68). The next two World Championships were held without participation of Russian team who failed to qualify to these tournaments. In 2014 US team repeated their success by beating Spain in the final match (77–64). The home team, Turkey managed to reach semifinals for first time in history but failed to win medals after losing to Australia in a bronze medal match (44–74). At the next 2018 World Championship in Spain, United States captured gold again after victory over Australia in a final match (73–56). Therefore, US team won seven of last nine World Championships and captured their 10th World title. The home team, Spain reached podium for third time in a row after victory over Belgium in a bronze medal match (67–60).

Results[edit]

Summaries[edit]

Year Hosts (final location) Gold medal game Bronze medal game Number of teams
Gold Score Silver Bronze Score Fourth place
1953
Details
 Chile
United States
49–36
Chile

France
49–37
Brazil
10
1957
Details
 Brazil
United States
51–48
Soviet Union

Czechoslovakia
83–70
Brazil
12
1959
Details
 Soviet Union
Soviet Union
51–38
Bulgaria

Czechoslovakia
79–43
Yugoslavia
8
1964
Details
 Peru
Soviet Union
70–35
Czechoslovakia

Bulgaria
46–42
United States
13
1967
Details
 Czechoslovakia
Soviet Union
83–50
South Korea

Czechoslovakia
60–54
East Germany
11
1971
Details
 Brazil
Soviet Union
88–69
Czechoslovakia

Brazil
70–63
South Korea
13
1975
Details
 Colombia
Soviet Union
106–75
Japan

Czechoslovakia
55–45
Italy
13
1979
Details
 South Korea
United States
82–94
South Korea

Canada
66–57
Australia
12
1983
Details
 Brazil
Soviet Union
84–82
United States

China
71–63
South Korea
14
1986
Details
 Soviet Union
United States
108–88
Soviet Union

Canada
64–59
Czechoslovakia
12
1990
Details
 Malaysia
United States
88–78
Yugoslavia

Cuba
83–61
Czechoslovakia
16
1994
Details
 Australia
Brazil
96–87
China

United States
100–95
Australia
16
1998
Details
 Germany
United States
71–65
Russia

Australia
72–67
Brazil
16
2002
Details
 China
United States
79–74
Russia

Australia
91–63
South Korea
16
2006
Details
 Brazil
Australia
91–74
Russia

United States
99–59
Brazil
16
2010
Details
 Czech Republic
United States
89–69
Czech Republic

Spain
77–68
Belarus
16
2014
Details
 Turkey
United States
77–64
Spain

Australia
74–44
Turkey
16
2018
Details
 Spain
United States
73–56
Australia

Spain
67–60
Belgium
16
2022
Details
 Australia 12

Note: From 1953 through 1979 the medalists were decided in a league format instead of in a knockout tournament; results of the final round matches are shown.

Medal table[edit]

Map of countries' best results
Italics indicates nations that no longer exist.
RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 United States101213
2 Soviet Union6208
3 Australia1135
4 Brazil1012
5 Russia0303
6 Czechoslovakia0246
7 South Korea0202
8 Spain0123
9 Bulgaria0112
 China0112
11 Chile0101
 Czech Republic0101
 Japan0101
 Yugoslavia0101
15 Canada0022
16 Cuba0011
 France0011
Totals (17 nations)18181854

Participating nations[edit]

Team Chile
1953
Brazil
1957
Soviet Union
1959
Peru
1964
Czechoslovakia
1967
Brazil
1971
Colombia
1975
South Korea
1979
Brazil
1983
Soviet Union
1986
Malaysia
1990
Australia
1994
Germany
1998
China
2002
Brazil
2006
Czech Republic
2010
Turkey
2014
Spain
2018
Australia
2022
Total
 Angola 16th 1
 Argentina 6th 9th 13th 11th 15th 10th 9th 14th 15th 9
 Australia 10th 10th 9th 10th 4th 11th 9th 6th 4th 3rd 3rd 1st 5th 3rd 2nd Q 16
 Belarus 4th 10th 2
 Belgium 4th 1
 Bolivia 10th 1
 Brazil 4th 4th 5th 8th 3rd 12th 9th 5th 11th 10th 1st 4th 7th 4th 9th 11th 16
 Bulgaria 2nd 3rd 7th 6th 7th 8th 7
 Canada 10th 11th 3rd 9th 3rd 7th 7th 10th 12th 5th 7th 11
 Chile 2nd 7th 11th 3
 China 3rd 5th 9th 2nd 12th 6th 12th 13th 6th 6th 10
 Chinese Taipei 12th 14th 14th 14th 4
 Colombia 7th 1
 DR Congo 14th 15th 16th 3
 Cuba 10th 12th 7th 10th 6th 3rd 6th 7th 9th 11th 12th 11
 Czech Republic 7th 2nd 9th 3
 Czechoslovakia 3rd 3rd 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd 4th 4th 8
 East Germany 4th 1
 Ecuador 12th 1
 France 3rd 10th 6th 7th 9th 8th 5th 6th 7th 5th 10
 Germany 11th 1
 Greece 11th 11th 2
 Hungary 5th 7th 9th 8th 10th 5
 Italy 9th 4th 5th 13th 11th 5
 Japan 9th 5th 5th 2nd 6th 12th 12th 12th 9th 13th 10th 14th 9th 13
 Kenya 16th 1
 Latvia 13th 1
 Lithuania 6th 11th 6th 3
 Madagascar 13th 1
 Malaysia 11th 16th 2
 Mali 15th 1
 Mexico 8th 8th 6th 3
 Mozambique 15th 1
 Netherlands 8th 1
 New Zealand 15th 1
 Nigeria 16th 8th 2
 North Korea 8th 1
 Paraguay 5th 6th 12th 3
 Peru 7th 11th 7th 13th 4
 Poland 5th 7th 13th 3
 Puerto Rico 16th 1
 Romania 6th 1
 Russia 2nd 2nd 2nd 7th 4
 Senegal 13th 12th 14th 14th 15th 15th 16th 12th 8
 Serbia 12th 8th 2
 Slovakia 5th 8th 2
 South Korea 8th 2nd 4th 5th 2nd 4th 10th 11th 10th 13th 4th 13th 8th 13th 14th 15
 Soviet Union 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 5th 9
 Spain 8th 5th 5th 8th 3rd 2nd 3rd 7
  Switzerland 9th 1
 Tunisia 16th 1
 Turkey 4th 10th 2
 United States 1st 1st 4th 11th 8th 8th 1st 2nd 1st 1st 3rd 1st 1st 3rd 1st 1st 1st 17
 Yugoslavia 4th 6th 6th 8th 2nd 5
Total 10 12 8 13 11 12 13 13 12 14 12 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 12

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 Sue Bird  United States 2002 2018 4 1 5
2 Raisa Mikhaylova (Kuznetsova)  Soviet Union 1957 1967 3 1 4
Nina Poznanskaya  Soviet Union 1957 1967 3 1 4
4 Diana Taurasi  United States 2006 2018 3 1 4
5 Tina Charles  United States 2010 2018 3 3
Uļjana (Iulijaka) Semjonova  Soviet Union 1971 1983 3 3
Skaidrīte Smildziņa  Soviet Union 1959 1967 3 3
8 Jennifer Azzi  United States 1990 1998 2 1 3
Tamika Catchings  United States 2002 2010 2 1 3
Teresa Edwards  United States 1986 1994 2 1 3
Lisa Leslie  United States 1994 2002 2 1 3
Katrina McClain  United States 1986 1994 2 1 3
DeLisha Milton-Jones  United States 1998 2006 2 1 3
Katie Smith  United States 1998 2006 2 1 3
Dawn Staley  United States 1994 2002 2 1 3

Multiple medalists[edit]

The table shows those who have won at least 4 medals in total at the World Cups.

Rank Player Country From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Sue Bird  United States 2002 2018 4 1 5
2 Raisa Mikhaylova (Kuznetsova)  Soviet Union 1957 1967 3 1 4
Nina Poznanskaya  Soviet Union 1957 1967 3 1 4
4 Diana Taurasi  United States 2006 2018 3 1 4
5 Milena Jindrová  Czechoslovakia 1964 1975 2 2 4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Spain submits candidature to host 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup" (Press release). FIBA. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Mainini: calendar, system of competition and 3x3 our biggest priorities" (Press release). FIBA. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2012.

External links[edit]