Great Britain’s women’s and men’s teams each secured places at Tokyo Olympic after commanding wins in their Olympic 2020 qualifying play-offs at Lee Valley. Olympic followers from all over the world are invited to book Olympic 2020 tickets from our online platforms for Olympic Tickets. Olympics Hockey followers can book Olympic Hockey Tickets from our ticketing marketplace exclusively on discounted prices.
The women will now have the chance to defend their title after beating Chile. After a 3-0 win in Saturday’s first leg, Mark Hager’s side secured a 2-1 victory in the second leg to claim the tie 5-1 on aggregate in London.
The men beat Malaysia 5-2 on Sunday following a 4-1 first-leg win to take the tie 9-3 overall. It was the final chance for both sides to qualify for the Games after disappointing results in recent tournaments.
Ireland win on penalties to secure Olympic 2020 berth
I’m so proud of all the girls, Great Britain captain Hollie Pearne-Webb told BBC Sport.
“I’m really excited now looking forward to the next eight months. I think we can make some huge progress in that time. The hard work starts now.”
Goals from Tess Howard and Laura Unsworth put the hosts 2-0 up inside seven minutes on Sunday. Chile thought they had pulled a goal back in the third quarter but Francisca Parra’s strike was ruled out by the video umpire, as the ball had not traveled the required five meters before entering the circle.
Las Diablos did score with just three minutes remaining through Fernanda Villagran but by then it was no more than a consolation. Qualification for next year’s Olympic 2020 will come as a huge relief to Hager, who has presided over a tough transitional period since taking the job in January 2019.
Great Britain’s women won their first Olympic title with a thrilling shootout victory over the Netherlands in Rio 2016. But high-profile players such as Helen Richardson-Walsh, Kate Richardson-Walsh, Sophie Bray and Crista Cullen have since retired, while Alex Danson – England and Great Britain’s joint leading scorer of all time – has been out with a long-term head injury.
Only seven of the Rio gold medalists are in the current squad, which finished second-bottom in the inaugural FIH Pro League season and outside the medals at the 2018 WC and the 2019 European Championships.
“The pressure on the girls [at qualifying] was huge, especially as they are the defending Olympic champions,” said Hager.
We had to win these two games and I’m really proud of the girls. It’s a fantastic effort. Now we can put our plans in place for what’s to come. It’s great going to the Olympic 2020 but if you look at the percentage of people who win medals it’s not very many.
Our next objective is to make sure we’ve got the process to find that extra 10-20% improvement we need to compete for a medal. Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa attended the match and gave the Chile side pre-match pep talks in support of his friend, Las Diablos coach Sergio Vigil.
Forsyth hat-trick downs Malaysia
Great Britain’s men now have the chance to improve on their group-stage exit at the last Olympics, as they saw off Malaysia through a hat-trick from Scotland’s Alan Forsyth and two strikes by Sam Ward.
Danny Kerry’s side settled their nerves early on, taking the lead from a penalty stroke in the ninth minute as Forsyth converted for his 100th international goal. Ward made it 2-0 two minutes later with a beautiful lofted finish at the near post.
Goalkeeper George Pinner had already made a splendid save to keep out Tengku Tajuddin at the start of the second quarter but there was nothing he could do to prevent Fitri Saari from pouncing on a penalty corner rebound to make it 2-1. Ward restored the two-goal lead with a superb drag-flick at the start of the third quarter.
Malaysia scored a second through Razie Rahim, but Forsyth applied the finish to a lovely sweeping move with five minutes left and then completed his hat-trick, scoring again from the penalty spot to seal the win and Great Britain’s passage to the Olympic 2020.
There was a lot of pressure on me – all over social media I was being told I was on 99 goals, so it was hard,” Forsyth told BBC Sport. My mum was here yesterday so I tried to get it done while she was here, but we got the win, that’s what matters.
I don’t want to look back and be disappointed but I use not being selected for Rio every day – I missed one Olympics and I don’t want to miss another. I know we’ve qualified but I’ve got a lot of work to do to make sure I’m in the team for Tokyo Olympic.