The Australian women’s hockey team (World No. 2) will face high expectations when it takes on Russia (World No. 19) in the FIH Olympic Qualifier, which is the ‘final’ chance for teams to qualify for the Olympics.
The draw which involved 14 teams was held at the headquarters of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in Lausanne, Switzerland on September 9th 2019.
While the Australian women are in no comparison to the Russians, they have to respect their opponents who have climbed four stairs up on the World Ranking Table this September.
For the Hockeyroos, there is also no room for complacency, since the Russians who finished seventh at the EuroHockey Championship 2019 and fourth at the FIH Series Finals Tournament in Hiroshima, are capable of throwing a surprise.
Looking at the recent performances of the host Australian women’s hockey team, who finished second at the FIH Pro League 2019 earlier in June, has also been worry-some since they haven’t been in top form post the FIH Pro League.
At the Olympic Test event in Tokyo, they finished third and at the recently concluded Oceania Cup, they were edged out on goal difference by New Zealand in a best-of-three series.
Head Coach Paul Gaudion who will help them step-up their performance ahead of the FIH Olympic Qualifiers said :
“At the Oceania, we didn’t play well enough to deserve to win. They’re the little things that make a difference and our group are really going to have to be improved in order to make sure we get the job done in October.”
The two match series will be played in Perth on 25/26 (Friday/Saturday) October 2019, with the winner on aggregate across the two matches to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
The venue, match times and ticketing details are to be confirmed.