BY JULIUS MBARAGA
MALI has been presented with a perfect opportunity to reclaim the Fiba Women Afrobasket crown after being named hosts of the 2011 edition.
The 2007 champions ran out of smoke in this year’s edition (Madagascar) when they lost to Senegal in the final.
Senegal’s 72-57 victory handed the country a record tenth title and further asserted them as Africa’s basketball queens.
Similar to this year, Rwanda will have to qualify through their Zone ‘5’. Early this year, the team shocked many when they dethroned their Kenyan counterparts after hosting the Zone 5 championships.
It was the first time Kenya had failed to qualify for the biannual event since 1993 when they lost to Senegal in the final.
Rwanda had a rough welcome in the Afrobasket event after losing all their group games. However, the team saved their face with two classification victories over South Africa and Tunisia to finish 9th in the twelve-nation tournament.
Senegal and Mali will now represent Africa in next year’s Fiba World Championships in Czech Republic.