A whole host of sides booked their place in the semi-finals as the pool stages came to a close for many teams. In Ranchi, Germany and Japan took the top 2 spots in Pool A, and continue their qualifying journey. Pool B was also decided with the USA and India making it through. Over in Valencia Spain and Great Britain advanced to the next stage in Pool B and in Pool A it was Belgium and Ireland that progressed. Action in Oman saw the men’s qualifying campaigns left on a cliffhanger. In both Pool’s 3 out of the 4 sides can still make the semi-finals.
German stalwart Anne Schröder celebrated her 200th cap with a 10-0 victory over Czechia and qualification to the semi-finals in the first action of the day. Despite stern Czech defence in the first quarter the Germans found their scoring boots from the second period onward, scoring freely throughout, with 5 field goals, 2 penalty strokes and 3 penalty corner strikes. In the other match from Pool A Japan secured a semi-final berth with a 2-0 victory over Chile. Strikes in the first and second quarters did the damage for the Cherry Blossoms who put on a professional display in the final pool game.
Germany top Pool A in Ranchi with 7 points, with a plus 13 goal difference. Japan follow them into the semi-finals, also finishing on 7 points. Chile finished in 3rd place with 3 points while Czechia finished in 4th without registering a point.
The USA completed a perfect pool stage with 3 wins from 3 thanks to a 1-0 win over New Zealand. Elizabeth Yeager’s strike from a penalty corner was enough to seal the 3 points for the US – who progress to the semi-finals. In her 100th appearance for India Udita scored twice as the hosts brushed aside Italy – registering a 5-1 victory to bring the Pool stage in Ranchi to a close. India established control early in the tie – scoring inside the first minute. 2 more strikes were added in the third and fourth quarters – with Italy grabbing a consolation in the fourth period.
These results mean the USA finish top of Pool B thanks to their 9 point haul. India qualify for the semi-finals in second on 6 points, with New Zealand missing out in third, on 3 points. Italy finish rock bottom of the Pool with 0 points.
Qualifying action got underway in Muscat with a thrilling contest just edged by Chile – who beat Canada 3-2. The win hands La Roja their first 3 points of the tournament and keeps their hopes of the semi-finals very much alive. In Pool B’s other encounter New Zealand and Germany shared the points in a topsy-turvy clash, ending 2-2. New Zealand took the lead inside the first minute of the game but the Germans rallied back to take a 2-1 lead into half-time. The Black Sticks secured a point through Hayden Phillips’ 43rd minute strike.
The day’s results mean Pool B is on a knife-edge, with 3 out of the 4 sides still in with a chance of semi-final qualification. Germany lead the way on goal difference with New Zealand in second – both sides have 4 points. Chile sit in 3rd with their destiny in their own hands – taking on Germany in the final pool game.
Pakistan kicked off the day’s Pool A action with a testing 2-0 win over China. In what was a tightly contested match up it took until the third quarter for the deadlock to be broken – via a 42nd minute penalty corner strike. The win was secured for Pakistan by an Abdul Rehman strike with 9 minutes to go. In the final game of the day in Oman Great Britain overcame a stubborn Malaysia to make it 2 wins from 2 and sit top of the Pool and all but secure their place in the semi-finals. The sides scrapped away in the first half – and went into the break level at 1-1. However, 2 goals from GB in the third period set the tone and once one more was added in the final quarter the game ended in a 4-1 win for the Brits.
There’s still plenty of chances in Pool A – with 3 sides gunning for the second qualification spot.Great Britain sit top of the pool with 6 points and a far superior goal difference to their rivals of plus 5. China currently occupy second with 3 points and a minus 1 goal difference. Waiting to pounce in third are Pakistan with 3 points while Malaysia sit in fourth on 0 points, but their dreams of the semi-finals are still just alive.
Hosts Spain turned a 1-0 final quarter deficit into a rampant 5-1 victory over Canada in Valencia’s opening game of the day. The Canadians took the lead in the first quarter and held firm until the final period when the home fans were treated to a clinical display in front of goal by the Spanish. The result sees Spain top Pool B and qualify for the semi-finals. Giselle Ansley celebrated her 100th Great Britain cap with 2 strikes – as a second quarter blitz from her side blew away Malaysia 8-1. A goalless first quarter was followed up by a 6 goal second, all scored by GB. To their credit Malaysia tightened up at the back for the rest of the clash, with Great Britain struggling to find the back of the net with the fluency of the crazy second quarter. One more score was added in the third period and Malaysia struck first in the final 15 minutes – before one final goal from GB’s Hannah French rounded out an 8-1 victory.
With Spain securing their third straight victory it means they finish top of Pool B in Valencia with 9 points. They are followed into the semi-finals by Great Britain who finished on 6 points – Canada miss out in third with 3 points while Malaysia finish bottom of the group with 0 points.
5 goals from Ambre Ballenghien helped Belgium to a dominant 12-0 win over Ukraine in Pool A. The Red Panthers took the lead inside the first quarter and never looked back. They scored multiple goals in the following periods – culminating in a big win for a side that had already secured their place in the semi-finals. On the other side of Pool A Ireland secured the points against a stern Korea. A goalless first half showed how cagey this one was going to be with qualification for the semi-final on the line. Sarah Hawkshaw eventually broke the deficit for the Irish just after halftime – with the lead doubled heading into the final quarter. Korea did threaten a comeback when they opened the scoring in the final 15, but a Roisin Upton penalty stroke settled the nerves and secured 3 points and a spot in the semi-finals.
The results mean Pool A finished with Belgium atop the group on 7 points and a massive plus 22 goal difference. Ireland follow them through to the semi-finals also finishing on 7 points but behind the Belgians on goal difference. Korea finish third with 3 points from their sole win while Ukraine end the stage bottom without a point.
To see the current pool standings for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Muscat, please click here.
To see the current pool standings for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Valencia, please click here.
To see the current pool standings for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Ranchi, please click here.
For more information about the qualifiers and the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024, visit Olympics.Hockey.
FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024
Ranchi, India – 16 January
Result Match 1 (W)
Germany 10 – 0 Czechia
Player of the match: Sonja Zimmerman (GER)
Umpires: Rebecca Edwards & Kristy Robertson
Result Match 2 (W)
Chile 0 – 2 Japan
Player of the match: Hazuki Nagai (JPN)
Umpires: Amber Church & Sophie Bockelmann
Result Match 3 (W)
United States 1 – 0 New Zealand
Player of the match: Madeleine Zimmer (USA)
Umpires: Wanri Venter & Cookie Tan
Result Match 4 (W)
India 5 – 1 Italy
Player of the match: Udita (IND)
Umpires: Annelize Rostron & Ayanna McClean
Muscat, Oman – 16 January
Result Match 1 (M)
Canada 2 – 3 Chile
Player of the match: Raimundo Valenzuela (CHI)
Umpires: Sean Rapaport & Darren Hubach
Result Match 2 (M)
New Zealand 2 – 2 Germany
Player of the match: Kane Russell (NZL)
Umpires: Gabriel Labate & Sean Edwards
Result Match 3 (M)
Pakistan 2 – 0 China
Player of the match: Abu Mahmood (PAK)
Umpires:Ahmed Elsayed & Gareth Greenfield
Result Match 4 (M)
Malaysia 1 – 4 Great Britain
Player of the match: Will Calnan (GBR)
Umpires: Steve Rogers & Hideki Kinoshita
Valencia, Spain – 16 January
Result Match 1 (W)
Canada 1 – 5 Spain
Player of the match: Lucia Jimenez (ESP)
Umpires: Michelle Meister & Emi Yamada
Result Match 2 (W)
Great Britain 8 – 1 Malaysia
Player of the match: Giselle Ansley (GBR)
Umpires: Maggie Giddens & Michelle Meister
Result Match 3 (W)
Belgium 13 – 0 Ukraine
Player of the match: Ambre Ballenghian (BEL)
Umpires: Emi Yamada & Rachel Williams
Result Match 4 (W)
Ireland 3 – 1 Korea
Player of the match: Sara Hawkshaw (IRE)
Umpires: Kelly Hudson & Ivona Makar