The road to a second consecutive World Cup is therefore open for the team of national coach Valéry Demory. The World Cup qualifying round will be held in Washington from February 10-13. The World Cup will take place in Australia from September 23 to October 3.
Of the four groups of four, the top 3 qualified for the nineteenth World Cup for women. In the group of the host country Australia and Olympic champion America, who are directly qualified, only two teams go through. The Belgian Cats are in group D with, in addition to America, also Russia (world ranking 12) and Puerto Rico (world ranking 17).
“This is a good draw”
“This is a good draw. On the one hand we avoid a long journey to Osaka Japan and on the other hand and with all due respect with Puerto Rico we get a feasible card in our group,” said high performance manager Sven Van Camp. “Winning against Puerto Rico should be enough to qualify for the World Cup in Australia. Playing against top countries such as America and Russia is great to improve as a team. Okay there is jet lag, but we can probably leave a week in advance. The fact that Emma Meesseman has been working in the WNBA and Washington Mystics for years is also an advantage for contacts. If you look at group A in Belgrade and group C in Osaka, you can’t help but be satisfied with this draw,” said Sven Van Camp.
Antonia Delaere: “Happy with Puerto Rico and that it’s in America”
Antonia Delaere, one of the strongholds of the Belgian Cats for years, was delighted with the draw for the World Cup qualifiers. “We are in an attractive group. Playing against world and Olympic champions America is always a dream, Russia is always a fierce camp and with Puerto Rico we find a feasible camp. So we just have to keep Puerto Rico behind us. If we want to go to a World Cup for the second consecutive time and to a major tournament for the sixth time in a row, we have to complete that challenge. Furthermore, it is nice for me personally to finish an official race in America,” says Delaere.
The Antwerp player is currently finishing a strong season with the Spanish Zaragoza and scored 17 points without a miss for the Belgian Cats in the last European Championship qualifier last week against Germany.
The Cats were only once in a World Cup of the party. In 2018 they finished in the Spanish Tenerife and after a great course in fourth place. The way to a second consecutive World Cup is therefore completely open with this draw. In Tenerife, by the way, the Belgian Cats won with well-signed numbers from Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico also won 87-52 at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Group A (Belgrade/Serbia):
Serbia, Australia, Brazil, Korea
Pool B (Belgrade/Serbia):
France, China, Nigeria, Mali
Pool C (Osaka / Japan):
Japan, Canada, Belarus, Bosnia
Poule D (Washington/Amerika):
America, Belgium, Russia, Puero-Rico