‘Boomers’ i.e. the Australian men’s basketball team secured a historic first medal at the Tokyo Olympics, while the women have already medaled five times.

Boomers finally end Olympic Drought

Led by an inspired Patty Mills – Boomers’ seasoned floor leader – Australia finally ended on the winners’ podium of the Olympics.

Prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Australian men had participated 14 times, finishing fourth on four occasions. This year’s squad again featured numerous NBA players. Besides Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Dante Exum (Houston Rockets) and Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers) played major roles in securing this historic bronze. That the Boomers achieved this milestone despite losing the services of Aron Baynes (Toronto Raptors) due to an injury in the early stages of the tournament, and Sixers star Ben Simmons opting out, makes their accomplishment even more creditable.

‘Cricket Country’ Winning in Basketball

From a fellow Commonwealth country standpoint, Australia’s win also proves that a ‘cricket country’ can medal at basketball events at the Olympics. This is a crucial takeaway for a country like India, which is keen to make its push as a sporting powerhouse in the 21st century, building on its best-ever finish at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

It is pertinent to recall that the only time an Indian basketball team competed in the Olympics was in 1980 Moscow, after other higher-ranked teams withdrew due to Cold War tensions.

READ: Will Indian Basketball Teams ever ‘return’ to the Olympics?

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Gopalakrishnan R
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