The Women’s Asia Cup 2022 will be taking place from 21-28 January at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, in Muscat in Oman. The venue was switched from Bangkok, Thailand due to ongoing Covid-19 complications. This event was first played in 1985 and only four teams’ names have appeared on the trophy since – Korea, India, Japan and China. After two tumultuous years of Covid-related disruption, all eight participating teams will be desperate to start the year in winning style and one expert in the game says it is a situation where ‘anything can happen.’
India are the defending champions, having won this event in 2017. Since then, the Eves have grabbed the headlines with their historic fourth place finish at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – a feat that has rocketed them into 9th place in the FIH World Rankings (WR).
This eight-team competition promises to be a highly competitive affair. The winning team will establish its position as the top team in a hockey-mad area of the world and the top four teams will book their places at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup, Spain and the Netherlands 2022.
The teams vying for the top four places alongside India are: China (WR:10), Korea (WR:12), Japan (WR:14), Malaysia (WR:20), Thailand (WR:29), Indonesia (WR:36) and Singapore (WR:37).
Former Head Coach to India men and an Olympian with the national team, Cedric d’Sousa, says this is a very open tournament with the top four ranked teams all capable of winning the competition and any of the eight teams taking a place in the top four.
‘It is such an important tournament because it is a direct qualification to the World Cup. And Oman is a country that loves its hockey so there will be a lot of local interest in the event.’