With Argentina’s win over China in the bronze medal match of Invest World League Semi Final in London, the Black Sticks Women’s team became 7th team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.
New Zealand had finished at fourth place in the Rabobank World League Semi Final in Rotterdam last weekend and Netherlands, who finished 2nd place at Rotterdam, are automatically qualified for the World Cup 2014 as hosts leaving one spot empty after completion of World League Round 3. So, next countries in line for World Cup 2014 qualification were 4th placed teams at Rotterdam and London World League tournament. Since the Kiwis are at number 3 FIH World Ranking and China are at #7, so the Black Sticks are now qualified. If Argentina had have lost, then the Kiwis would have needed to beat Australia at the Oceania Cup in Taranaki in October. Now China need to win Asia Cup to qualify for the World Cup.
The 2014 World Cup is in The Hague in June next year from 31 May to 15 June. Korea, Australia, Germany, Holland, England and Argentina have already secured their spot with the remaining five nations qualifying through either the Continental Championships or via world rankings.
“It is great to have qualified, it relieves a bit of pressure from the team and we can now plan our pathway to the World Cup and focus on our preparation,” says Black Sticks head coach Mark Hager.
“It is fantastic that both Australia and New Zealand will be there – it shows the strength of the region and how competitive we are against other nations,” says Hager.
The Black Sticks will now have a break from national trainings, returning to their regions of origin to prepare for the Ford National Hockey League starting on the 10 August. The League is compulsory for all Black Sticks and is the key selection event with Hager and men’s head coach Colin Batch naming their 2013/2014 squads after the tournament.
The Black Sticks Women have also qualified for the World League Round Four in Argentina in December. The teams confirmed are Argentina, Australia, England, China, Germany, Netherlands and Korea.