Blicavs earns Olympic qualifiers spot

January 27, 2024 BY

Sara Blicavs during her maiden Olympic appearance in Tokyo 2020. Photo: BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS

GEELONG basketball figure and former Geelong Supercat Sara Blicavs’ goal of representing her nation at back-to-back Olympic Games is almost a reality, after she got the call-up to Australia’s Olympic qualifiers squad.

Blicavs, now with the Melbourne Boomers in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL), will join the 12-woman squad in Balem, Brazil from February 8-11 in their pursuit of a top three finish in its pool to book an Olympic ticket.

Opals head coach Sandy Brondello said team selection had been affected by the unavailability of key players, but the side remained focused and ready to cement Australia’s spot on the Olympic stage.

“I’m really happy to finally announce the team, we have been hit with some injuries for sure but that’s the nature of what we do so we prepare for that.

“Brazil is first up and with the home crowd they will be tough, Germany is a team on the rise, and we have a really competitive history against Serbia, so there are no easy games.

“We have limited preparation time for this window, but we will take that as a motivator, this is where our experienced players will really make a difference. We are completely locked in now on the three games and securing our Olympic spot.”

Blicavs’ likelihood of selection increased since former Opals Steph Talbot, Kristy Wallace, Darcee Garbin and Alice Kunek became unavailable for selection due to injuries.

To this point in the WNBL season, Blicavs has averaged 12.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists.

She previously represented Australia at the 2020 Olympics as a late inclusion and at the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup.

The Opals will depart for Brazil on January 30, where they will link up with overseas-based teammates and Europe-based players Marianna Tolo, Ezi Magbegor and Alanna Smith.