Opals secures semis spot
August 08, 2012 12:32:49 UK
Australia's women's basketball team have qualified for the semi-finals of the London Olympics after beating China 76-50.
The Opals will face the United States for a place in the final.
The Australians led by as many as nine points in the second quarter, but China wrestled control back to lead by a point at the long break.
The Opals clicked into gear toward the end of the term through Liz Cambage (17 points) and Jenna O'Hea (eight), and they led by three points at the final break.
The fourth quarter was a procession as the Australians outscored China 20-8 en route to a 15-point win.
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Cambage led all scorers with 17 and seven rebounds, while skipper Lauren Jackson scored 12.
The Chinese side was well served by Ma Zengyu and Miao Lijie, who scored 15 and 13 points respectively.
The Opals will now meet the USA in the semis on Thursday after the Americans beat Canada 91-48 in their quarter-final.
The USA have beaten the Opals in the last three Olympic finals.
Meanwhile, Kathryn Mitchell qualified for the javelin final after grabbing the 12th and final spot.
The Victorian has overcome a torn abductor in the past three weeks to make her major championships debut.
Mitchell, 30, threw 60.11m to make the final, while fellow Australian Kimberley Mickle did not progress after finishing 17th in qualifying.
"I've had an interruption so I haven't really done much throwing but my training session last Thursday was extremely good and that indicated that I'm in the best shape of my life," Mitchell said.
"Injuries and preparation aside, I still have got my energy and my power and I think I'm in personal best shape and if I do that I can finish top eight."
Mitchell is 201.00 to win gold in London.
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