Tokyo Olympics 2020: Champions USA grouped with France Iran in men’s basketball; hosts Japan join Spain

Paris, Feb 2 (AFP): Olympic basketball champions the United States will face France and Iran in the men’s group stages of the Tokyo Olympics following Tuesday’s draw.

Host nation Japan will have European powerhouses Spain for company.

The US team are seeking their fourth consecutive men’s basketball gold and 16th in total after seeing off Serbia for the title in Rio 2016 and the Spanish in London and Beijing in 2012 and 2008 respectively.

Joining the mighty US, France and Iran in Group A will be the winner of Greece, China, Canada, Uruguay, Czech Republic and Turkey from a qualifying event in Victoria, Canada in late June.

The men’s competition in Tokyo begins on 25 July, three days after the scheduled conclusion of the NBA finals.

The draw at the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) headquarters in Mies, Switzerland, pitted Spain and Japan with Argentina, bronze medallists in 2008 with Group C completed by the winner of a qualifying event in Kaunas consisting of Lithuania, South Korea, Venezuela, Poland, Slovenia and Angola.

Australia, who can call on several NBA players, are in Group B with Nigeria and two other teams decided by qualifying events in Split (Germany, Russia, Mexico, Tunisia,Croatia and Brazil) and in Belgrade (Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Serbia, Puerto Rico, Italy, Senegal).