Saitama – Pau Gasol and Rudy Fernández became members of a select club this Monday, with their debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with the victory of Spain against Japan (88-77): that of basketball players who have played five Olympics in his career.
The two players of the Spanish team have participated in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016 and with their participation in the duel against Japan this Monday they added the fifth Olympic event to their collection with Tokyo 2020. Of them, three were They have concluded with a medal: the silvers of 2008 and 2012, and the bronze of 2016.
Rudy did it from the starting five and finished the game without scoring, but with an outstanding defensive contribution (6 rebounds and 3 steals) in 20:40 minutes; while Pau Gasol entered in minute 5, replacing his brother Marc in the Spanish quintet, to contribute 9 points and 4 rebounds in 13:33 minutes of play.
With these actions, Gasol and Fernández join the chosen group that has managed to play five Games, which already had a Spaniard, Juan Carlos Navarro, who completed five Olympic cycles from Sydney 2000 to Rio 2016.
Among the players who are part of this group of long-established Olympic basketball players are the Puerto Rican Teófilo Cruz (from Rome 1960 to Montreal 1976), the Brazilian Oscar Schmidt (from Moscow 1980 to Atlanta 1996), the Australian Andrew Gaze (from Los Angeles 1984 to Sydney 2000).
This same Monday the Argentine Luis Scola joined this group, with the debut of his team with a defeat against Slovenia (100-118). The Argentine was Olympic champion in Athens 2004, bronze in Beijing 2008 and accumulates the same Games as Pau and Rudy, from Athens 2004 to Tokyo 2021.
On Tuesday, with the debut of the United States women’s team against Nigeria (13.40 local time, 6.40 CET), the American bases Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird will enter this group, which to the five Games add an extra difficulty: in the four who have finished have been a gold medal, and their goal is to complete the plenary session in Tokyo 2020.