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Kristina Reynolds (Germany)
When it comes to penalty shoot-outs, Germany’s Kristina Reynolds is one of the best in the game. It was largely her performance against Argentina in the quarter-final match of the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Valencia, Spain that secured Germany a place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Reynolds has also been the lynch-pin in Germany’s two bronze medal wins this year – at the 2015 EuroHockey Championships and the Hockey World League Final in Rosario, Argentina.
Maddie Hinch (Great Britain)
At the EuroHockey Championships in London, Maddie Hinch disappeared under her team as the players mobbed the ‘keeper following her heroics in the shoot-out. Hinch’s three saves meant that England beat the Netherlands and won the gold medal, for the first time since 1991.
Joyce Sombroek (Netherlands)
Joyce Sombroek is the cool, calm lynchpin in the Netherlands team. As many of her teammates are constantly quoted as saying, with someone as reliable as Sombroek standing as the last line of defence, the remainder of the team can play with huge confidence.
Dongxiao Li (China)
China’s Dongxiao Li is an athletic ‘keeper who has been a key player in China’s emergence as a team who regularly reach the last four in competitions. Since the Beijing Olympics eight years ago, China has been steadily rebuilding its team and as she approaches 100 caps for her country, Dongxiao Li ’s reputation as a ‘keeper has grown too. She won Best Goalkeeper at the HWL Final in Rosario after China finished fourth.
Jang Soo Ji (Korea)
Korea were the first nation to qualify for the Rio Olympics courtesy of finishing in first place at the Asian Games. With Jang Soo Ji in sparkling form, Korea were able to beat close rivals China in the final. Korea has since demonstrated its ambition to compete with the very best – the team is playing increasingly attack-minded hockey, largely due to the confidence the players have in their agile ‘keeper.