Three nations – Japan, Argentina, and South Africa – have already completed a hockey double each. Their men and women hockey teams have got direct entry to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The Europeans qualifiers, both men and women, would also be known by the end of the week.
Belgium and the Netherlands are among the strong contenders closely followed by Germany, Spain, and England. But for the winners, others will go to the Olympic Qualifiers.
While the Olympic Hockey Test Event that otherwise has nothing to do with the entry to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Hockey Competition, both for men and women, would be over tonight, all eyes would be set on teams that fail to gain direct entry.
Japan has an altogether different case. It has qualified both as the host of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as well as Asian Games champion. Which other Asian teams gain entry to the 2020 Olympic Games will now be decided by the Olympic Qualifiers billed for later this year.
Asia, like Europe, has many challengers for Olympic berths. In the run from Asia are India, Korea, Malaysia, and Pakistan besides China.
South Africa has won both the African men and women championships held at Stellenbosch. In both the competitions, South Africa remained unbeaten and won all its round-robin games. In men’s section, South Africa won all five matches against Egypt, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Namibia to end with a maximum of 15 points. Egypt finished runners-up with 12 points. Austin Smith of the host South African team was the top scorer with 10 goals, all scored from penalty corners.
In the women’s section, South Africa won all its four matches against Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Namibia to end with maximum 12 points followed by Ghana with seven points.
Argentina won the men’s and women’s titles in the just-completed Pan American Games.
Argentina defeated Canada in both the finals with 5-1 (women) and 5-2 (men) margins to gain direct entry to Tokyo Olympic Games. Now Canada, USA, and Chile will have to go to the Olympic Qualifiers.