Hockey powerhouses set to clash in Muscat for Paris 2024 spots

Sports Monday 06/November/2023 18:26 PM
By: Times News Service
Hockey powerhouses set to clash  in Muscat for Paris 2024 spots

MUSCAT: Hockey enthusiasts in the Sultanate of Oman are in for a spectacular treat as world champions Germany, along with former multiple Olympic Games winners, gear up for the highly anticipated FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Muscat from January 15-21, 2024.

The qualifiers will see eight formidable teams vie for three coveted spots at the Paris Olympic Games 2024.

The powerhouses in contention include Germany, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Great Britain, who will face off against Malaysia, Canada, China, and Chile at the state-of-the-art Hockey Arena in Al Amerat.

The FIH announced the pools for the two men’s hockey qualifiers, to be held in Muscat and Valencia, Spain. The two women’s qualifiers will be held in Ranchi, India, and Valencia.

With only three spots available at each qualifier, the competition promises to be fierce, and the last opportunity for teams to secure their berth in the Paris Games.

Among these formidable teams, Germany, Pakistan, Great Britain, and New Zealand collectively hold an impressive ten Olympic gold medals and six World Cup titles.

Such a star-studded lineup has never graced Oman before, making the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in Muscat a must-watch event.

World champions Germany, who have participated in the Olympics 20 times, last clinched an Olympic title in 2012, with previous gold medals earned in 2008, 1992, and 1972. They also have three World Cup titles to their credit (2002, 2006, and 2023).

Pakistan, an Asian heavyweight, boasts a storied Olympic history with three gold medals in 1960, 1968, and 1984. They have also claimed the World Cup title four times and secured eight Asian Games titles, making 17 Olympic Games appearances to date.

With a significant Pakistani expatriate population in Oman, the team is likely to enjoy strong support as they aim to secure their Olympic berth.

Great Britain, a two-time Olympic champion, has competed in the Games on 18 occasions, with titles in 1920 and 1988. New Zealand, the sole Olympic gold medalists in 1976, have made 12 Olympic Games appearances.

In addition to these formidable teams, Malaysia has qualified for the Games nine times, Canada eight times, China once, and Chile will be attempting to secure their first-ever spot at the Olympics.


Five continental

champions confirmed

Meanwhile, the road to the Paris 2024 Games has seen five men’s and women’s teams earn direct qualification as continental champions, in addition to host nation France. Another 16 teams for each gender have earned their place in the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024.

The teams that finish in the top-three of each of the four qualifiers will secure their spots at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Recent African Hockey Road to Paris 2024 Games ended with South Africa’s men and women claiming gold medals and booking their places in the Olympics on Sunday.

A total of 12 teams in both men’s and women’s categories will compete in hockey discipline at the Olympic Games.

Hosts France have gained direct qualification. Australia (men and women) were winners of the Oceania Cup, which sealed their qualification, while Netherlands (men and women) qualified as the European champions.

India (men) and China (women) clinched their spots at the Olympics through their gold medal victories at the Asian Games. Argentina (men and women) sealed their spots at the Olympics as winners of the Pan American Games.

A total of16 men’s and women’s teams have simultaneously secured their place at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024.

The 16 teams per gender have been divided into two groups, with eight teams traveling to each location: Muscat and Valencia (men), and Ranchi and Valencia (women).

Besides the eight teams that will fight out for three spots in Muscat, the other eight men’s teams that will compete in Valencia, Spain are Belgium, Spain, Korea, Ireland, Japan, Austria, Egypt and Ukraine.

The eight women’s teams that will compete in Ranchi, India are Germany, India, New Zealand, Japan, Chile, United States, Italy and Czech Republic

And the eight women’s teams that will compete in Valencia are: Belgium, Great Britain, Spain, Korea, Ireland, Canada, Malaysia and Ukraine. With six more spots available, the road to the Paris Olympics is certain to be an exciting journey for hockey fans worldwide.