England ended up on the second spot. They lost in the finals, but they did play against the best in the world and played hard. The basketball match ended 99 to 55 for the tournament favourites Australia. England almost didn’t make it to the match due to funding problems. However, it turns out that the UK Sport is not interested in elite basketball as it doesn’t have anything to do with the Olympic medal prospect. “We are competing, let’s see if we get recognized for that” Rachael Vanderwal said.
How did England get to the finals? Put simply, they won the match against Canada in the semi-finals. Canada is ranked fifth in the world and is not easily beaten. Sport England stepped in to help with the funding and the England team was able to participate in the tournament.
The match against Australia started and England already took 7-8 points in the lead in the very first quarter. They started off great and were on the way to continue their success from the previous four matches. Liz Cambage caused a technical foul and kept arguing with the officials and this didn’t bring anything good. She is 26 years old and she waved to the crowd as she was leaving. The team’s perfect defense held up and most of the match went well though.
“Funding is out of our control, but we got a silver medal. At the end of the day we are happy.” said Vanderwal. Against all odds, they managed to keep their lead and push to the victory multiple times.
What Might the Future Hold?
It is possible that UK Sport might change their opinion of the elite basketball scene because of this success. A silver medal is a great achievement to the women category of this sport. It shows how much people are actually willing to fight together with their talent and hard work- it achieves great heights. Let’s hope there will be no more funding incidents like this any time soon. Sport is the one thing that truly lets you compete against the world in a peaceful way and the best of the best always inspire everyone. I do hope these young people will continue doing what they do and continue to inspire the audiences and remind them that no goal is too far and that no wish is impossible. Hard work and dedication pushes all of us forward.