Great Britain, Germany, New Zealand and Ireland secure final Olympic berths

The 12 teams for each hockey competition at Tokyo 2020 have been decided after thrilling qualifiers over the past 10 days

By Ken Browne ·

Ireland's women claimed the final berth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic hockey tournament, beating Canada 4-3 in a shootout to reach the Games for the first time.

After 120 minutes of scoreless hockey, Canada took what looked like a decisive 3-1 lead in the shootout.

But Beth Barr and Chloe Watkins scored to take it into sudden death as Canada missed with their last two efforts.

Roisin Upton found the net for the Irish with the first penalty in sudden death and Amanda Woodcroft, who had scored earlier on, missed to send Ireland through.

We now know the 12 women's and 12 men's teams who will compete for gold in Japan next year from 25 July to 7 August.

Both gold medal-winning teams from Rio 2016, Great Britain's women and Argentina's men will be in Tokyo to defend their titles.

Britain make home advantage count

Great Britain's women are safely through after a 5-1 aggregate win over Chile in London.

Playing at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, a training venue for the London 2012 Games, Mark Hager's side did the hard work with a 3-0 win in Saturday's first leg.

Not even a pep talk from Argentinian football manager Marcelo Bielsa, a friend of Chile coach Sergio Vigil, could revive Las Diablas' hopes.

Goals from Tess Howard and Laura Unsworth in the first quarter all but sealed the tie with Fernanda Villagran scoring a late consolation.

The men joined them in Tokyo with a thumping 5-2 win over Malaysia to take the tie 9-3 overall.

Three goals from Alan Forsyth, including two from penalty strokes, and two for Sam Ward saw Britain through comfortably with the Asian Games runners-up unable to close the first-leg deficit despite strikes from Fitri Saari and Razie Rahim.

Forsyth's opener in the ninth minute took him to 100 international goals for Scotland and GB combined.

Germans cruise through in Moenchengladbach

Italy's women were in with a chance of qualification having trailed Germany just 2-0 after Saturday's first leg.

But their hopes were quickly extinguished as three goals in the first eight minutes courtesy of Cecile Pieper, Nike Lorenz and Lena Micheel put the tie beyond doubt.

The visitors managed to survive without conceding until half-time, but Germany upped the tempo again after the break.

Two goals from Elisa Grave, a second from Pieper and a late goal from Pia Maertens saw it end 7-0 on the day and 9-0 on aggregate for the bronze medallist from Rio who will be fancied again to make the medals.

Austria's men were only playing for pride after a 5-0 first-leg reverse to Germany on Saturday.

Michael Korper scored three times for the visitors, all from penalty corners, to haul his side back to 3-3.

But late goals from Olympians Niklas Wellen and Christopher Ruhr saw Germany win 5-3 and secure a 10-3 aggregate victory as they also look to improve on their Rio 2016 bronze.

Black Sticks ease past Korea

New Zealand's men had some work to do in their second leg against Korea in Stratford, leading 3-2 after Match One.

And they extended their lead at the start of the second quarter through Stephen Jenness who scored twice on Saturday.

Sam Lane made it a three-goal cushion in the 23rd minute, and Kane Russell's penalty corner strike late in the third period made it 6-2 on aggregate.

The win sees the Black Sticks through to their 13th Olympic competition and their fifth in succession.

India at the double for Tokyo

India will go for gold in both competitions in Tokyo, although there were some heartstopping moments for the women in Bhubaneswar.

Leading 5-1 from the first leg, Sjoerd Marijne's side looked to have plenty in hand against the United States.

The Americans started with intent and Amanda Magadan's penalty corner and Kathleen Starkey's strike saw them close to within two in the first quarter.

And they were level before half-time thanks to Alyssa Parker's high shot and Magadan's second of the game.

But three minutes into the final quarter, captain Rani Rampal's fierce strike beat Kelsey Bing and India held out for a 6-5 aggregate victory.

No such alarms for the men as they thrashed Russia 7-1 to complete an 11-3 aggregate win.

The visitors scored inside the first 25 seconds through Alexey Sobolevskiy, but it was one-way traffic after that.

Akashdeep Singh and Rupinder Singh both scored twice as the eight-time Olympic gold medallists cruised through to Tokyo.

Canada's men break Irish hearts

Canada's men will be at back-to-back Olympic Games for the first time since the 1980s after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Ireland in Vancouver.

The Irish led 5-3 after the first leg and John McKee made it 6-3 on aggregate in the first quarter.

But back came the home side with Gordon Johnston's penalty corner and Oliver Schofield's strike either side of half-time bringing them to within one.

They were still behind in the dying seconds and called for a review just before the final whistle sounded for a possible infringement inside the Ireland circle.

A penalty stroke was awarded, and captain Scott Tupper scored to level the tie at 6-6 and send it into a penalty shootout.

Ireland went 3-1 up in the shootout but goalie David Carter hauled Canada back into it and Adam Froese scored in sudden death to win it 4-3 and book a place in Tokyo.

Dutch end Pakistan's dream of Olympic return

A clinical performance in Amsterdam saw the Netherlands end the Pakistan men's team's hopes of returning to the Olympics for the first time since Barcelona 1992.

After Match One ended 4-4, the Dutch took the lead through Bjorn Kellerman's backhand strike in the first quarter.

But the second period proved decisive as Mink van der Weerden's penalty stroke, Mirco Pruijser's low fizzer and van der Weerden again - this time from a penalty corner - saw the home side canter to victory.

Terrance Pieters and Jip Janssen added insult to injury for Pakistan who did manage a late consolation through Rizwan Ali, but it was the Dutch who won 6-1 on the night and 10-5 on aggregate.

And perhaps we will see more celebrations from Dutch coach Max Caldas on the touchline in Tokyo.

Double delight for Spain

Spain's qualification was twice as nice as both the men and women came through to secure their spot at the Olympics.

The women's team defeated Korea 2-1 in Game 1 in Valencia taking the slenderest of leads with them into Game 2, where they finished the job with a 2-0 victory.

A 4-1 aggregate win that has Spain's women looking forward to a summer of hockey on the Olympic stage.

Spain's men foil France

Spain's men will also be investing in Japanese phrase books after their narrow victory over France.

Things started badly for the home side in Valencia as they went 3-0 down in the first leg before coming back to draw 3-3.

A stunning solo effort from Gaspard Baumgarten saw France take an early lead but the Spanish stuck at it with Quico Cortes excelling in goal.

Captain Miguel Delas equalised from a penalty corner in the second quarter and Spain took the lead just before half-time through Alvaro Iglesias after superb work from Pau Quemada.

Francois Goyet levelled midway through the third period but Xavi Lleonart's penalty stroke restored the hosts' advantage and they held on for a 3-2 win to go through 6-5 on aggregate.

This will be Spain's 18th appearance at the Olympic Games with three silvers and a bronze medal to show for their efforts.

Australia roll Russia

Three-time women's Olympic champions Australia will join the men's team in Tokyo after a commanding 8-2 aggregate victory over Russia.

The door was left slightly ajar after the first game finished 4-2, but firmly shut in the second after Australia turned it on to win 5-0.

A hat-trick from Emily Chalker in Game 2 means she'll play at her third straight Olympics in Japan.

China stun Belgium in Wujin

After a 2-0 win in the first leg in Wujin, Belgium's women looked to have all but sewn up a place in Tokyo as they and China played out three scoreless periods in the second match.

But with just four minutes to go, Gu Bingfeng scored with a penalty stroke.

Moments later, two-time Olympian Liang Meiyu made it 2-2 to set up a penalty shootout.

The Belgians were stunned, and China took the shootout 2-1 to the delight of the local fans chanting “加油!” (jiayou!) - 'Let's go!' In Chinese.

The tears flowed among the visitors as they watched the home team celebrate a dramatic comeback which will see them play at Tokyo 2020.

Final list of qualified teams for hockey at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics


Japan (hosts, 2018 Asian Games champions)

Argentina (2019 Pan-American Games champions, reigning Olympic champions)

South Africa (2019 African Olympic Qualifiers)

Belgium (2019 EuroHockey Championship winners)

Australia (2019 Oceania Cup winners)





New Zealand

Great Britain


Argentina win thrilling Hockey gold

Argentina wins gold in hockey, sealing a 4-2 victory late in an enthralling...


Japan (hosts, 2018 Asian Games champions)

Argentina (2019 Pan-American Games)

South Africa (2019 African Olympic Qualifier)

Netherlands (2019 EuroHockey Championship)

New Zealand (2019 Oceania Cup)





Great Britain (reigning Olympic champions)



Gold for Great Britain in Women's Hockey

After a penalty shootout, Great Britain's team win gold in women's hockey o...

Competition format

In each tournament, the 12 teams will be split into two round-robin groups of six.

The top four in each group go through to the quarter-finals with the winners progressing to the semis and then the final.

The losing semi-finalists will play off for the bronze medal.

All games will be played at the Oi Hockey Stadium which hosted a successful test event in August where India won both the men's and women's competitions.

An earlier version of this article was published on 29 October