Following the completion of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifying tournaments in Ranchi, Valencia and Muscat, the FIH have announced the Olympic Pools for Paris 2024.
In the men’s tournament South Africa will compete for the sixth time and make a second consecutive appearance. They earned their spot with a tight 2-1 win over Egypt in the African Hockey Road to Paris tournament.
South Africa will participate in Pool A where they will face Germany in a re-match of the biggest upset at Tokyo 2021, remarkably the only ever meeting between the two sides at an Olympic Games. South Africa will also face fellow Tokyo pool opposition Netherlands and Great Britain. South Africa lost a thriller 3-2 to Spain in London and will meet for the second time ever at Olympic Game level, while the African continental qualifiers complete their group against France in what will be first ever Olympic Game meeting.
Pool B sees Asian qualifiers India joined by Pan America champions Argentina and Oceania champions Australia. The group is concluded by Great Britain and New Zealand who qualified in Oman as well as Ireland who secured the final qualification place in Spain.
In the women’s tournament its 6th appearance for the South African women as well. The team, currently embroiled in a six match test series against host France will contest for the Olympic medals in Pool B.
There they will come up against Oceania Champions Australia who narrowly edged out the South Africans 1-0 at London 2012. They also take on Argentina who were in the same pool 12 years ago as well as Spain, who the African champions last faced at an Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. Also in Pool B are Great Britain who won the final qualification place in Valencia while the South Africans will hope to repeat their most famous Olympic moment in history when they face USA. The two team last met at the London Olympic Games when South Africa produced a perfect performance to win 7-0.
In the other pool in the tournament, hosts France are joined by favorites Netherlands as well as Asian qualifiers China. Germany and Japan secured their participation in Ranchi and add to the pool that is completed by Valencia champions Belgium