Westmont Women’s Basketball fans have a keen interest in the London Summer Olympic Games, especially in women’s basketball. Westmont’s Tugce Canitez has been named to the Turkish National Women’s Basketball Team and hopes to represent her homeland in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Canitez has been training with the team since returning to Turkey shortly after the completion of her finals in early May.
Turkey, which has never qualified for the Olympics in women’s basketball, will be competing with eleven other teams in the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, seeking one of five Olympic berths. The event begins on June 25 in Ankara, Turkey. The 12 teams have been divided into four groups of three teams each for round-robin play.
Turkey will compete in Group A with Japan and Puerto Rico. Turkey and Puerto Rico will begin Group A play on June 25 with Turkey and Japan playing on June 26. Japan and Puerto Rico are scheduled to play on June 27.
The top two teams from each group – eight in all – will advance to the quarterfinals of the knockout round which will take place on June 29. The four winners of quarterfinal games will earn a place at the Olympics. The four losers will advance to the semifinals where they will compete for the final Olympic berth beginning on June 30.
Group B consists of Czech Republic, New Zealand and Argentina. Croatia, Korea and Mozambique make up group C. Group D is comprised of France, Mali and Canada.
The five qualifiers will head for London to join Angola, China, Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Russia and the United States, all of which have already earned a place in the 2012 summer games. The Olympic Opening Ceremony is on Friday, July 27 with women’s basketball scheduled to begin the following day.
Canitez hopes to become the third Westmont Olympian. Paul Herman represented the United States in 1964 and placed fourth in the decathlon, the best showing by an American that year.
Westmont sprinter Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa of Madagascar competed in three Olympics. In the 1964 Tokyo games, he ran in both the 100 and 200 meters, but did not reach the finals. In 1968 he competed in Mexico City in the same events, reaching the finals of the 100 meter race and placing eighth. At Munich in 1972, Ravelomanantsoa reached the semifinals of the 100 meters and also competed in the 4 x 100 meter relays.