The Czech Republic has won a bid with the International Basketball Federation to host the tournament of the 2010 World Championship in women’s basketball. The event will take place in September and October 2010 in Brno and Ostrava and as the host, the Czech national women’s basketball team will automatically qualify.
A special treat is in store for all basketball fans in the Czech Republic: in 2010 two Moravian cities - Brno and Ostrava - will host the women’s basketball World Championship. The Czech Republic won the bid at FIBA meeting in Chicago at the weekend after other candidates, including Australia and France, withdrew from the competition. Jiri Hamza is the deputy head of the Czech Basketball Federation and the chairman of the championship’s organization committee.
“The most important fact is that we managed to comply with the conditions set down by FIBA, and that we made more effort than Australia, France and Latvia who were running against us. I also think that the achievements of our national women’s basketball team in recent years were important.”
The tournament will take place in the second and third largest cities of the Czech Republic, leaving out Prague with its modern Sazka Arena. Mr Hamza says that FIBA did not want to hold the World Championships games in venues for 20,000 people for fear that not enough spectators would come to see them. Brno and Ostrava, on the other hand, do not host as many big events and therefore a greater interest of the public can be expected. Jiri Hamza sums up what is ahead for the organizers, now that it’s definite that the tournament will be held here.
“We have almost three years to get ready. We have to put together the organizational teams for both cities, and above all to start working on a project for a new stadium in Brno together with Brno City Hall. The new multipurpose hall should be the venue for the championship’s final match.”
Recently, the Czech women’s basketball team have been doing very well. They ended seventh at their first ever appearance at the World Championship in Brazil last year, and won the European Championship in 2005. Last year, they did not manage to defend the tile at the European final tournament in Italy and finished fifth. Jiří Hamza is also the manager of the Gambrinus Sika Brno women’s basketball team which won the prestigious Euroleague in 2006. How does he see the chances of the home team at the 2010 World Championship?
“I believe we can well play for medals, given that we will play at home. But everything has to come together. We must respect the strength of the US, Russia and Australia which are in my opinion the best teams in the world.”
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