Japan’s women’s hockey team qualify for Olympics

Lausanne, Oct 22 (IANS) The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Thursday confirmed that the Japanese women’s team have qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Japan qualified after both Australia and New Zealand qualified for the Oceania Cup final, which takes place on Sunday. The winner of the Oceania Cup will qualify for the Olympics as Oceania continental champions while the loser will qualify from their ranking at the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final.

As a result, this opened up a further qualification spot which Japan secured as the team who ranked highest at the HWL Semi-Finals and had not already qualified. They finished sixth at the HWL Semi-Final in Antwerp while Spain finished sixth in Valencia. However, Japan qualify ahead of Spain as they rank above them in the world rankings.

Japan join the 10 teams already qualified for Rio 2016. In addition to Australia and New Zealand, South Korea qualified as Asian Games champions, United States as Pan Am Games champions, Great Britain as European champions (qualification through England’s victory at the Euro Hockey Championships) and China, Germany, Argentina, Netherlands and India through the HWL Semi-Finals.

The remaining berth will not be finalised until after the African Hockey Championships which take place from October 23 to November 1.

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