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The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup is also known as the FIBA Women’s World Cup or the Basketball World Championship for Women. The FIBA world cup is a basketball tournament played by women’s national teams held every four years. It’s played in a different country each time.
2018 will be the first time the tournament is played under the name “FIBA Women’s World Cup” as it was previously known as the basketball “World Championship for Women”.
The tournament started in 1953, three years after the first such tournament for men – the FIBA Men’s Championship. The tournament wasn’t consistently quadrennial until 1967 after which it was played in the same years as the men’s. After 2014, the men’s tournament was pushed forward by a year to avoid the conflict. The next women’s tournament will be in 2018 and the men’s will be in 2019. Women’s basketball is known for play making and skill, rather than dunking and brute force. The tournament also helps to showcase the importance of women’s achievements in sports.
The tournament has been played in 12 countries so far, 13 after it’s held in Spain in 2018, but the title has been won by only 4. These are: the United States, the Soviet Union, Australia, and Brazil. The tournament is played by 16 teams unlike the men’s tournament that was increased to 24 and will be further increased to 32 in the next world cup.
The United States won the first title of the competition in 1953 in Chile. It is also the reigning team since it won the latest competition that was held in Turkey in 2014.
The Soviet Union landed their first title in 1959 and did not relinquish it for another two decades. To date, it is the only country to have won the title five times in a row.
For more than 40 years after the competition started, Brazil became the first team to break the mold by beating the two countries in 1994. Hortencia Marcari, who was inducted to the FIBA Hall of Fame, was the force behind this title win for Brazil.
Twelve years after Brazil won, Australia’s team – the Opals – took the title in Sao Paolo. Lauren Jackson of the Opals is credited for catapulting her team to this success.
The United States has won the tournament 9 times making it the team with the most wins. It’s followed by the Soviet Union with 6 wins. Brazil and Australia each have one win.
Several other teams have come close to the title. Spain came close to winning in 2014 in their maiden final, but lost to the United States. Other countries include Yugoslavia, Czech Republic, South Korea, Bulgaria and Japan. Chile also made it to their maiden finale during the very first tournament in 1953, but also lost to the United States.