Cape Town tournament kicks off the next stage
The FIH today announced the schedule for the first Hockey World League Round 2 tournament. The women’s event, which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, will feature the national teams of Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Ghana and host South Africa. It is the first of eight total Hockey World League Round 2 events set to held in the next three months around the globe.
The Cape Town tournament is sure to be a competitive affair with two teams, Belgium and South Africa, having participated in the London 2012 Olympics. South Africa enters the event as the highest-ranked team in the FIH World Ranking, weighing in at #11. The South Africans earned an automatic berth to Round 2 as the host of this event.
Nipping at the South African’s heels will be Belgium, which is #13 in the FIH World Ranking and made its way to this Round 2 event after winning the World League Round 1 tournament in Vienna, Austria. At that tournament, the Belgians topped 29th-ranked Austria in a close 2-1 decision. Cape Town will be a chance for the Austrians to atone for that loss when they meet Belgium for a second time this in this World League cycle. Austria grabbed the final qualification spot for Round 2 from its home tournament, thanks to a fourth-place finish.
Azerbaijan is also poised to play the role of spoiler for the favorites Belgium and South Africa. The 16th-ranked Azerbaijanis barely missed earning a qualification to the London Olympics after missing the mark at the qualification tournament in Japan. Now the country is on a mission to make the cut for the 2014 World Cup, making the Cape Town tournament a critical event.
Ghana, #31 in the FIH World Ranking, rounds out the five-team event and is a relatively unknown team in this field. Ghana won the African-based Round 1 event, but with the field diminished to just two teams it was a 50-50 chance to qualify for Round 2 meaning Ghana has yet to face a major test in its World League experience thus far.
The top two teams from Cape Town will be qualified for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in June.
To view the schedule, and the official tournament web page, please click here.Back