The logo for the forthcoming FIBA-ASIA women’s basketball championship, to be held here next month, was unveiled by the Tamil Nadu Minister for Electricity, Arcot N. Veeraswami, amidst a festive ambience here on Thursday.
This is the first time that India is hosting this prestigious championship featuring such top teams as China, Korea and Japan. Scheduled from September 17 to 24 at the JN Indoor Stadium, the competition will also determine the three qualifiers from Asia for the next World Championship in 2010.
While expressing happiness over the fact that Tamil Nadu was given the distinction to host such a premier competition, Mr.Veeraswami, outlined the efforts taken to put across a professionally well organised event, meeting the requirements of a world class competition. He added that around Rs. five crores had been spent to spruce up the JN Indoor Stadium to conform to the stipulations laid down by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
An additional amount of Rs. two crores was required to provide the final touches and the request to the authorities concerned had been made already. Mr.Veeraswami assured competitors all facilities and enhanced security cover at the venues and hotels.
Mr. Mohideen Khan, Minister for Sports and Vice-Chairman, Organising Committee, voiced optimism that the championship would be a success in every facet.
Mr. Harish Sharma, Secretary-General, Basketball Federation of India (BFI) acknowledged the support and co-operation gained from the state for creating a state-of-the-art facility at the Indoor Stadium. Twelve teams are in the fray in ‘A’ and ‘B’ categories.
The first group will consist of China, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Japan, India and Thailand. Pool ‘B’ comprises Kazakisthan, Uzbekistan, the Philippines, Lebanon, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Only the top three from Pool ‘A’ will make the grade for the World Championship.
The last two from the group will be relegated to category ‘B’ and the top two from this section move into the ‘A’ pool for next year’s Asian Championship.
A total of 24 referees will be supervising the championship and two neutral umpires are from Finland and Czechoslovakia.
The Indian players assembled here on Thursday and will be training at the Sathyabama University Indoor Stadium. The Kazak team is expected to arrive on September 2, and is scheduled to figure in a few practice games with the national team.