Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Carioca Arena 1, Barra Olympic Park, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro; Youth Arena, Deodoro Olympic Park, Deodoro, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 6, 2016
Date Finished: August 20, 2016
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to classification matches.
The USA men were favored to win the gold medal in Rio, but the USA women were âreallyâ favored to win. The US had won every Olympic gold medal since 1984, with the lone exception of 1992, when they won bronze. They had won 7 of 10 World Championships since 1979, winning in both 2010 and 2014. Like the menâs team, the US women now had a permanent national coach in University of Connecticut head coach [Geno Auriemma], and since he had been installed as national coach in 2009, the USA women had been even more dominant.
The USA women scampered through the tournament, never facing a serious challenge, starting out with a 65-point victory over Senegal in group play. In group B, their closest match was a win over Serbia, 110-84. The other group B qualifiers for the knockout rounds were Spain, Canada, and Serbia. In group A, Australia also won all their games, and were joined by France, Turkey, and Japan in the elimination rounds.
Japan had the misfortune to be drawn against the Americans in the quarter-final, losing by 46 points. The other semi-finalists were Spain, France, and Serbia, who upset Australia in the quarters, 73-71. France went down to the USA in the semis, 86-67, while Spain handled Serbia easily. The final was no contest, with the United States winning their sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal, 101-72, over Spain. The strength of the American team can be seen by the fact that the 2015 WNBA MVP, [Elena Della Donne], usually came off the bench. Among the US players, [Diana Taurasi], [Sue Bird], and [Tamika Catchings] won their fourth Olympic gold medals, equaling the mark held by former US players [Teresa Edwards] and [Lisa Leslie].