British basketball players celebrated last night after being guaranteed a place in the 2012 Olympic Games.
According to The Mirror, both the women’s and men’s teams secured spots for the legendary event.
The ruling came after both teams qualified officially for the tournament; however their automatic entry was delayed until British sports officials demonstrated plans to grow the sport within the UK.
Bill McInnes, chairman of the British Basketball Foundation (BBF) made a statement to confirm how hard the teams had both worked: “This is an endorsement of all the hard work our two teams have put in.”
“I don’t think we would have been here if both teams hadn’t made it through to the EuroBasket tournaments. Now I think both teams can do well and get to the quarter-finals in the Olympics.”
The 2012 games, which will be held in myriad event spaces throughout the English capital, will see both teams able to push themselves to the limit – with hopes of grabbing a bronze, silver or even gold medal.
Two of the teams’ stars, Pops Mensag-Bonsu and Jo Leedham, both spoke to SportingLife.com about the achievement; with the former claiming: “It’s like having the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders.”
The latter, Leedham, also shared her excitement, adding: “It’s just relief. It’s huge. It’s not really going to sink in until it’s closer and we really start preparing.”
“It can inspire younger generations and we’ve really got to use it.”