Last month, this column was a merger of Lithuania’s achievements at the Sydney Olympics as well as its triumphs as a basketball nation.
Sydney 2000

Now, on this day in sport, we look back on Lithuania’s triumphs during this particular Olympic Men’s basketball tournament.

Lithuania entered the tournament on the back of consecutive Bronze medals however it was their first Olympic tournament without legendary centre Arvydas Sabonis.

However the inexperienced line-up endured a 1-2 start in the group stage after defeats to reigning tournament Champions USA and 1999 EuroBasket winner Italy.

Astonishingly, the Baltic nation not only bounced back but was seconds away from qualifying for its maiden golden medal game via a Sarunas Jasikevičius long range shot against the US.

Unfortunately, Jasikevičius was unable to make the shot; settling for 27-points in Lithuania’s 85:83 heart-breaking semi-final loss to the Americans.

Thankfully, Saulius Štombergas was able to guide Lithuania to its third straight podium finish by defeating the host nation 89:71.

The Klaipėda-born legend poured 28 points while Jasikevičius added another 6 assists to his top ten tournament leading scorer’s finish and his first Olympic medal.

Australian pair Andrew Gaze and Shane Heal topped that list while 14,833 applauded Lithuania to the podium during the sport’s peak throughout the host nation.

Also on this day, Žydrūnas Savickas claimed his third World Strongest man title in 2012.

Taking place in Los Angeles, the then 37-year-old shared was joined on the podium by Lithuanian Vytautas Lalas while Hafþór Júlíus "Thor" Björnsson (Iceland) finished third.

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