Japan and USA women qualify for the World Cup

[img_assist|nid=8651|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=57|height=100]Japan and USA have secured places at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 following results in women’s continental championships.

Japan defeated Korea 2-1 in the Asia Cup final in Kuala Lumpur to become Asian champions and seal their World Cup ticket.

USA’s attempt to win the Pan American continental championship ended in a 1-0 final defeat at the hands of reigning world champions Argentina. However Argentina had already secured World Cup qualification thanks to a third place finish at the recent Investec Hockey World League Semi Final in London (ENG).

This left the door open to the teams that finished outside the top three at the World League Semi Finals that had not yet qualified for the World Cup. With first reserves China and second reserves Japan having already achieved qualification, the place was immediately handed to third reserves USA.    

Japan and USA become the ninth and tenth women’s teams to qualify the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup, with two more places up for grabs at the Oceania and African continental championships.

The men’s and women’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament was scheduled to take place this week in Nairobi, but has been postponed due to the tragic events surrounding the terrorist incident in the Kenyan capital.  

Belgium will almost certainlt be in the Hague with New Zealand and Australia (both already qualified) the only realistic contenders for the Oceania Cup which starts in late October in New Zealand.

Rabobank Hockey World Cup – Women’s Qualifiers.

Netherlands: Hosts
Germany:  Continental Champions Europe
Japan: Continental Champions Asia
Australia: 1st place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final,  London (ENG) 
England: 2nd place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final,  London (ENG)
Argentina:  3rd place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final,  London (ENG)
Korea: 3rd place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED)
New Zealand: 4th place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED) *
China: 4th place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final, London (ENG) **
USA: 5th place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final, London (ENG) ***

* Netherlands finished second in the Hockey World League Semi-Final event in Rotterdam.  As they are already pre-qualified as the host, this means that the highest ranked fourth place finisher from both Semi-Final events earns direct qualification to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. This place goes to New Zealand, who were fourth in Rotterdam and currently sit third in the FIH World Rankings. 
** China qualified as first reserve courtesy of Germany’s victory in the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships.
*** With second reserves Japan and the already qualified Argentina winning the respective continental championships in Asia and Pan America, the World Cup ticket was handed to third reserves USA.

World Cup Qualification – The Next Stage
The remaining places at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup for men will be filled by the winners of the final two continental championships. However, if any of the above listed teams also becomes continental champion it will open the door to the team that finished outside the top three at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals that has not yet qualified for the World Cup. This team is Belgium: 6th in Rotterdam / fourth reserve for World Cup