MADRID, 2 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Madrid City Council has hosted this Thursday the presentation of a “special” 2023 U-19 Women’s Basketball World Cup for which the Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB) and the administrations involved have been working “for a long time” and with “great enthusiasm” .
The tournament will be held from July 15 to 23, 2023, with 16 participating teams -United States, Australia, Hungary, Mali, Canada, Czech Republic, Spain, Russia, Japan, France, Italy, Egypt, South Korea, China Taipei, Argentina and Brazil- in two venues for the group stage (Torrejón de Ardoz and Alcalá de Henares) and with a final phase at the WiZink Center. It will be the second event of this type organized by Spain, after Bilbao hosted it in 1989.
The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez Almeida; the president of the Superior Sports Council, José Manuel Franco; the president of the FEB, Jorge Garbajosa; and the players Elena Buenavida and Awa Fam have been some of the protagonists of the presentation of the Women’s Under-19 World Cup. An act that was also attended by the vice-councillor of the Community of Madrid, Alberto Tomé, and the mayors of Alcalá de Henares, Javier Rodríguez, and Torrejón de Ardoz, Ignacio Vázquez.
Garbajosa started by assuring that they have been working “for a long time” “to make this dream come true.” “It is an important year for our future, and within the present and the future we are clear that two pillars are training and women’s basketball, for which we are firmly committed, it is inalienable,” she said.
“This tournament was the first thing we asked FIBA to celebrate our centenary -which is celebrated this year-. Organizing a championship like this would have been one more, but we want it to be different and special, with symbols of promotion like never before. seen in this country. With things that have never been done in world basketball”, he predicted.
For his part, Franco stressed that “any championship of these characteristics represents a lot for sport and for Spain”, trusting in the organizational experience of the FEB. “Torrejón and Alcalá are committed to sport, which is why it will also be a guarantee of success. All the administrations are working on a very important event. We can be proud because we organize this type of event very well. In addition, we will have sporting success,” he applauded.
“The year 2022 was historic, breaking all records, and we are first in the world ranking for the first time. A lot has to do with the great work that the Federation does,” he praised, before remembering Encarna Hernández, as a “precursor “of women’s basketball in Spain. “Like her, many others have marked history and have left a legacy, and now you have to leave it high. Basketball in Spain is not a flash in the pan, we have a history, and this championship will be the continuity of success for our basketball female,” he said.
In addition, Almeida recognized that this World Cup is the event “that makes the council more excited” in 2023 with a lot of sport in the capital. “We have been working since 2020 to be able to host this World Cup. Institutional collaboration in the field of sport is very important, today we are all united regardless of our sign,” he celebrated.
“We are very excited because it is the centenary of the FEB, not only because of the sporting successes, but also because of the values of our Spanish basketball. It is the team sport that transmits the best values. In addition, the FEB has been working for many years in the women’s sport, as well as its pioneers. And this tournament helps us to unite the grassroots sport with the professional one”, Almeida pointed out.
The Deputy Minister of Sports of the Community of Madrid confessed that he was happy “to host an event that will allow the best players and teams in the world to enjoy”. “We want to be remembered as a milestone in the history of Spanish basketball and continue to attract children and young people to basketball. We want women to also occupy their rightful place on the court,” said Tomé.
For their part, the Valencia BC players Awa Fam and Elena Buenavida, who will represent Spain in the U-19 World Cup, were “super grateful” for being able to represent the country in this tournament. “It’s a dream for all of us to be there or play, to see our families and friends there,” Fam admitted, while Buenavida highlighted being “a lucky generation, quite intense and with very clear ideas.” “We have been left with the desire for Gold and doing it at home is a great opportunity,” she highlighted.