EuroBasket Women 2011
|"...we can [...] complete the cycle by going to the Olympics" - Styliani Kaltsidou|
Styllani Kaltsidou is targeting a top five finish with Greece at the EuroBasket Women next month so they can fight for a place at the 2012 Olympics.
Greece needed a dramatic fightback against Italy at the last EuroBasket two years ago to take fifth place and the FIBA World Championship for Women place that came with it.
This year, Kaltsidou is hoping for a repeat so the team can finish what they've started by going to London next year.
"This is yet another chance to complete the circle that we have begun in recent years," the Bourges forward said.
"Our preparation has been special because the girls are excited to be playing in the tournament. We go there with the same goal, to get out of the group stages and then see how far we can go."
While the winners of the EuroBasket Women will qualify directly for London 2012, the teams finishing between second and fifth will go into the qualifying tournament next year.
That is Kaltsidou's goal, though she knows it will not be easy.
"It is certainly a big task," she added. "The team has dreams and ambitions, but we have shown before that this is something we can do.
"If we can get into the top five, we can spend another year together and complete the cycle by going to the Olympics."
First, Greece need to get past France, Croatia and Latvia in Group D.
"I think Latvia and Croatia are very similar to us," Kaltsidou said. "They are enthusiastic and talented, but they do not have big star names. We will have to see if Latvia are able to bring all their players, but I think we can match them.
"France are more complete, but we know them very well. We will take each game individually. Our goal is to get to the next stage and then we will see.
"Our team can no longer surprise people because they know us now. We have earned respect as an opponent.
"The most important thing for me is that we will be there to represent our country. We want to be healthy, to have fun, and enjoy what we do. When we play like this, we can achieve many things.
"We want to do as well as possible to build on the progress we have made in recent years."