Clarke’s courageous Gangurrus claim silver in China

August 10, 2023 | Sydney Flames news

Emma Clarke and her Australian Gangurrus have produced one of the gutsiest on-court performances in recent memory, during the weekend’s FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series event in Yichang, China.

Battling temperatures in the high 30s and playing with only three players (and no substitutes), the Gangurrus claimed the silver medal at the August 4-5 tournament.

“It was never the plan to travel with three, as unfortunately Lauren Mansfield had to pull out last minute because of a medical condition and it was too late to get a replacement because of the Chinese visa requirements,” the Sydney Flame said.


“It [the tournament] was extremely hard and probably the most difficult thing physically and mentally I’ve had to do on the basketball court in my career.

“Adding to the no sub, it was also extremely hot in Yichang with added to the challenge.

“But speaking for myself, I can honestly walk away and say I have the tournament everything I had and more.”

Clarke’s green and gold outfit, which also included Anneli Maley and Marena Whittle, opened the tournament with a 21-20 win against Germany and 21-18 triumph over Mongolia.

After topping pool B, the Gangurrus then downed Wugan Sanfran 21-11 (quarter-final) and Sc.Yuanda 21-9 (semi-final) to book their spot in the decider.

In the grand final, Clarke’s outfit fell agonisingly short of claiming gold, losing 14-13 to hosts China.

“It’s a privilege to finish so high in a tournament with countries that are ranked to win medals at the World Cup and Olympics,” the Perth product said.

“It just shows that even with three players and little preparation, we can beat these teams and really compete.

“I definitely have to say I’m happy with the silver result given the circumstances.”

This was the 23-year-old’s second international 3×3 tournament, which made her feel more comfortable in the shortened form of the game.

“I’m happy with my performance – there are always things to improve on but definitely thought I built from my last tournament,” she said.

“In saying that, this one was much harder because of the heat and not having a sub.

“I did feel the competition was of a higher standard as there were more teams which made the finals chase more competitive.

“But I did feel more comfortable on the court and more confident already having a tournament under my belt.”


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Clarke is now currently resting up in Western Australia before returning to the harbour city next month, to prepare for her second season with the Hoops Capital club.

“I’ll definitely have a few days to recover as my body is quite beaten up but will be back in the gym and on the court later in the week to resume my preparation for the Sydney Flames’ pre-season – ahead of what will be a really exciting season for the club,” said the Perry Lakes Hawks junior.

“After this tournament especially, I can definitely say 3×3 is something I want to be a part of and pour into, so staying ready for that is also at the top of my priority list as well.”