South Africa continued to show its dominance in Africa by winning both tournaments at the African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 event. By winning, the nation has also qualified a spot to compete at the Olympics. The men’s tournament contained six teams while the women’s tournament contained five teams. The teams played in a round robin format with the best performing team being crowned champion. The African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 was held in Stellenbosch, South Africa from August 12th to August 18th 2019.
The women’s tournament saw regional powerhouse South Africa win their first three matches with a combined score of 10-0. The second highest ranked nation, Ghana had a bit of a struggle which included a 1-1 draw to Kenya, but an Olympic quota was still left to be played when these two nations faced on the final day. South Africa clinched the title and Olympic quota without conceding a goal with their 6-0 victory over Ghana. The bronze medal was won by Zimbabwe thanks to its victories over Kenya (2-0) and Namibia (3-2).
Both Egypt and South Africa went undefeated in the men’s tournament going into the final group game. Neither nation was particularly troubled in their victories, but Ghana did score the first goal against Egypt before ultimately losing the match 3-1. In the deciding game, Egypt held a narrow 1-0 lead over South Africa at half-time. South Africa would then score the next three goals and while Egypt scored a second goal in the dying seconds it would prove too little too late as South Africa won the championship 3-2. The bronze medal was won by Ghana.
South Africa will be hoping to compete for the first time since 2012 as they controversially rescinded their quota in 2016 due to the national Olympic federation deeming them to not have reached a high enough standard to compete. Due to ongoing negotiations with the national Olympic federation it is currently unknown whether they will keep this quota or be forced to qualify through the Olympic Qualifiers to be held later this year.
* South Africa
* South Africa