Japan was a riot as the team, as the Olympic host nation, will take one of the three Olympic Games from its qualifying team, regardless of results. But when the draw was carried out, at Fiba's International Basketball Association headquarters outside Geneva, it did not get any better than that Sweden ended up in the same group as Japan in qualifying.
The star is ready
SVT Sport received star Amanda Zahui - who now plays in China - just before bedtime.
- So the whole thing will be sickly exciting. All matches will be very different. But our focus will be on ourselves. We have set goals and dreams that we intend to achieve, and that is to play the Olympics. That's the only thing that matters. We should be ready and feel safe in everything we do, Zahui tells SVT Sport.
Amanda Zahui usually plays for the New York Liberty WNBA team. Right now there is a break in the league and then she plays in China in the club Shandong.
There she got off to a good start when in the first match she made 15 points 13 rebounds and in the second match she made 28 points and 21 rebounds.
"Will of course be really tough"
That the opponents of the group also became Belgium and Canada - and not for example Serbia and Australia - on the other hand was positive, Frida Eldebrink thinks. Two of the three countries are allowed to join Japan in the Tokyo Olympics.
- It will of course be very tough and Belgium has a home plan advantage (in Ostend). But I still think it's a "match-up" that fits us pretty well. Canada has very good players and WNBA stars in the team, but still has not made great results in the recent championships, Eldebrink tells TT.
"The big dream"
Sweden's basketball ladies have never played the Olympics before and reached the qualification thanks to the success of the European Championships this summer. Belgium, just like Sweden, finished in the quarterfinals then and finished four in last year's World Cup, where Canada was eliminated in the quarter.
- We are underdogs and should not put too much pressure on ourselves. It's pretty big that we're just in the qualms. But the Olympics is the big dream and the biggest one can play in the basketball, says Frida Eldebrink.
In total, 16 countries participate in the Olympic qualifying, which will be decided in four different groups, February 6-9. In addition to Japan, reigning world champions from the US are also guaranteed an Olympic site.