FIH have confirmed the nations who qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics at the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final Olympic qualifying events. The events across three venues, saw forty nations take part in pursuit of places at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the HWL Finals.
The nine men’s and seven women’s qualifiers from Round 2 of the HWL were joined in the Semi-Final by the teams ranked from 1-11 at the time of seeking entries all entering the fray.
Beginning in Buenos Aires, a gripping ten days of competition saw Germany men defeat hosts Argentina to win the overall event, with the Netherlands beating Canada to take third place and the remaining automatic ticket to Rio.
Buenos Aires was followed by an equally exciting event in Valencia, Spain where Great Britain women took the title with a win in the final against China. Germany were third after beating Argentina in the third/fourth decider match to take the third Olympic ticket available in Valencia.
The final qualifying event, a joint men and women’s event, culminated in Antwerp, Belgium last night. In the women’s event, the Netherlands defeated Korea with a late winner to win the event while Australia beat New Zealand to take third place. With Korea having already achieved Olympic qualification by virtue of winning the Asian Continental Championship last year, a top three finish in Belgium opened the door to the highest ranked of the fourth place finishers from the HWL Semi-Final events in Valencia and Antwerp. Argentina finished fourth in Valencia and sit above New Zealand in the FIH world rankings, guaranteeing them an Olympic ticket.
Meanwhile, the men’s event saw a late goal from Australia to take the title with a narrow victory over hosts Belgium with Great Britain securing third place over India to take the third and final Olympic ticket.
The remaining Olympic places will not be finalised until after the Continental Championships which finish in October this year. For more information on the qualifying process and to track who has qualified, click here for the men and here for the women.
Eight teams from both the men’s and women’s events also qualified for the 2015 HWL Finals. The Finals are showpiece events where trophies and World Ranking points are on the line and will mark the end of a journey that began in June 2014. The women’s competition will take place in Argentina while India will play host to the men’s event, with the winning teams being rewarded with a place at the elite FIH Champions Trophy tournaments in 2016.
The line-up’s for the HWL Finals are as follows:
Men – India, Germany, Netherlands, Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, Belgium and Canada
Women – Great Britain, Germany, China, Argentina, Australia, Netherlands, Korea and New Zealand