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Basketball at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games

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Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Date Started: July 20, 1980
Date Finished: July 30, 1980
Events: 2

Participants: 215 (143 men and 72 women) from 14 countries
Youngest Participant: CUB Andrea Borrell (16 years, 254 days)
Oldest Participant: URS Sergey Belov (36 years, 180 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 72 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): YUG Yugoslavia and URS Soviet Union (2 medals)


There were again tournaments for men and women, but both fields were severely hurt by the absence of the United States’ teams, as the USA boycotted the Moskva Olympics in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Most of the games were held at the Dvorets Sporta, Universalny Sportivny Kompleks CSKA, or the Sports Palace of the CSKA Sports Complex, but the final rounds were held at the Tsentralnaya Arena, Sportivny Kompleks Olimpiysky, or the Indoor Stadium of the Olympiysky Sports Complex. Both arenas were built for the 1980 Olympics, and both are still in use for sporting events. The Sports Palace is now known as the Aleksandr Gomelsky CSKA Universal Sports Hall.

The men’s tournament again had 12 teams, who qualified by various methods and tournaments. Notably, five eligible teams withdrew and did not compete – the United States, Argentina, Canada, Puerto Rico, and China. To replace them, the Moskva Organizing Committee had to go down to eighth place at the European Olympic Qualifying tournament. The qualification methods were as follows – 1978 World Championships (Yugoslavia); Host Nation (USSR); European Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Italy [1], Czechoslovakia [2], Spain [3], Sweden [7], Poland [8]); Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Brazil [4], Cuba [6]); 1979 Oceanian Championships (Australia [1]); 1980 African Championships (Senegal [1]); and the 1979 Asian Championships (India [5]). The replacement teams, who were not originally eligible, were Sweden, Poland, Brazil, Cuba, and India.

The men were separated into three groups of four, who played a round-robin format, with the top two teams in each group advancing to a semi-final six-team round-robin. The top two teams in the semi-final group played a final game for the gold and silver medals, won by Yugoslavia, who defeated Italy. The Soviet Union defeated Spain for the bronze medal. The Soviets failed to make the final game when they lost to Italy, 87-85, in the semi-final group.

There were again six teams in the women’s tournament. The Soviet Union was eligible as the defending champion and the host nation. The other five teams came from the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, but the United States, which won the tournament, withdrew, leaving Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Cuba, and Italy, with Hungary replacing the United States.

As in 1976 the six teams played a single-group round-robin, but this time the top two teams advanced to a final match, in which the Soviet Union defeated Bulgaria. The 3rd- and 4th-placed teams played for the bronze medal, with Yugoslavia defeating Hungary.