February 8, 2020 / 2:54 PM / 11 days ago

Basketball-China women's team secure Tokyo Olympic slot

Feb 8 (Reuters) - China secured their slot in this year’s women’s Tokyo Olympics basketball tournament by edging European champions Spain 64-62 in a tense qualifier in Serbia on Saturday.

The Group B qualifiers had to be moved from the city of Foshan in China to Belgrade as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

China beat Britain 86-76 on Thursday and, with the top three in the four team group qualifying for Tokyo, made sure of their ticket after holding off a late fightback by the Spaniards.

China were 15 points clear in the second quarter but Spain roared back into the lead with Alba Torrens netting six in a row before a decisive Shao Ting lay-up with a minute to go.

The Chinese women were runners-up at the 1992 Barcelona Games and will be appearing at their ninth Olympics in Tokyo.

Champions the United States and hosts Japan have already qualified. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, Editing by Ken Ferris)

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