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Edmonton to host 2016 Olympic women's basketball qualifier

Kim Smith
Kim Smith
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

According to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star on Tuesday, Edmonton will host the 2015 FIBA Olympic women's basketball qualifier from August 9-16. The winner of the tournament will participate at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

This may be an excellent opportunity for Canada to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. That is because the basketball superpower United States may not qualify for the tournament if they win the 2014 FIBA World Championship for women in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey from September 27 to October 5.

The tournament which will consist of ten teams from the American zone, will have 24 games being played at the Saville Community Sports Centre. The centre is located on the south campus of the University of Alberta according to the Canadian Press.

This will be the first time since 1995 that Canada has hosted the FIBA Olympic women's basketball qualifier. McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario hosted the tournament prior to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In the championship final, Canada defeated Cuba 80-73.

Canada qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The Canadian team defeated Japan 71-63 in the qualifier in Ankara, Turkey on July 1, 2012. The victory happened to come on Canada Day.

Canada has qualified for five Olympic Games in women's basketball. They were part of the Olympic tournament at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Canada's best finish was fourth at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Canada advanced to the bronze medal game before losing 63-57 to China. The game was played at the Forum in Inglewood, California, the host venue of the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA.