- FINTRO Best Player Lidewij Welten sets up late winner for Ellen Hoog in The Netherlands’ victory over Korea
- New Zealand defeat to Australia gifts Rio 2016 Olympic Games ticket to Argentina
- India women take fifth to keep their Olympic qualification hopes alive
The Netherlands women won the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final 2015 by defeating the Asian Champions Korea by 2-1 in the final at Dragons Hockey Club in Antwerp. In third place match, Australia defeated their trans-Tasmanian rivals New Zealand by 4-2 to qualify for Rio Olympics 2016.
FINTRO Best Player Award: Lidewij Welten (NED)
HERO Best Young Player Award: Xan de Waard (NED)
FINTRO Best Goalkeeper Award: Sally Rutherford (NZL)
HERO Top Scorer: Jodie Kenny (AUS) – 10 goals
Fair Play Award: France
FINTRO Player of the Tournament Lidewij Welten set up the winner for 2014 FIH Player of the Year Ellen Hoog, who smashed home a late winner to give the Netherlands a hard-earned win over the resilient and defensively brilliant Koreans. Asian giants took lead on short corner through Park Eunjung in 34th minute who deflected Kim Jong’s shot into the goal. Caia van Maasakker scored the equalizer in 44th minute on penalty corner.
It proved to be a fantastic tournament for the Netherlands, with the top ranked team in world hockey sealing a safe passage through to the Rio 2016 Olympics as well as two of their key players winning individual awards. As well as Welten’s Best Player award, team-mate Xan de Waard was named HERO Best Young Player after a superbly consistent tournament. Australia’s Jodie Kenny took the Hero Top Scorer prize with 10 goals, while New Zealand shot-stopper Sally Rutherford was named FINTRO Best Goalkeeper.
Australia emerged victorious in the Oceania derby match to take third place ahead of New Zealand. The result meant that the Black Sticks missed out on a top three placing and automatic qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games, although the Hockeyroos entered the match knowing that they had already booked their ticket to Rio regardless of the result.
With Korea having already achieved Olympic qualification by virtue of winning the Asian Continental Championship last year, a top three finish in Belgium opened the door to the highest ranked of the fourth place finishers from the HWL Semi-Final events in Valencia and Antwerp. Argentina finished fourth in Valencia and sit above the Black Sticks in the FIH world rankings, guaranteeing an Olympic berth for the Pan-American giants.
Earlier in the day, India increased their chances of landing a ticket to Rio by claiming a fifth place finish with victory over Japan, while Belgium’s Red Panthers ended their competition on a high by defeating Italy in the 7-8 play-off match.