Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Indoor Hockey World Cup: Austria and Netherlands lift titles

It was an Austria v Netherlands lock out at the FIH Indoor World Cup in Pretoria. Austria men successfully defended their world title while the Dutch regained the women’s crown.

Both men’s and women’s finals had one female and one male umpire – a mixed gender first for a Hockey World Cup final.

Tournament top scorer Michael Körper (17 goals) scored a hat-trick as the Dutch twice led in a thrilling men’s final.

His strikes sent the title decider to a shootout, which the Austrians edged 3-2 for a memorable victory.

“Unbelievable, unbelievable,” said Austrian captain, Leon Thörnblom. “You tend to say a lot but when you do it, it’s just a different feeling. I have no words, I can’t explain it… just unbelievable. I’m so happy.”

The Netherlands won their third women’s title in the last five edtions as Netherlands’ Donja Zwinkels ended with 17 goals.

Mabel Brands scored a hat-trick as the Dutch romped to a third world title with a 7-0 victory. With that, they also climbed to the top spot in the world rankings while Austria moved up from seventh to fourth.

“I’m so proud. We did a really good job, we prepared well and we executed it,” said Brands.

Iran secured back-to-back bronze medals after scoring late in a 4-4 draw against USA before taking the shoot-out.

The women’s third-place playoff saw hosts South Africa lose out 3-1 to the Czech Republic.

Final standings


1 Netherlands
2 Austria
3 Czech Republic
4 South Africa
5 Belgium
6 Ukraine
7 Australia
8 Canada
10 Kazakhstan
11 New Zealand
12 Namibia


1 Austria
2 Netherlands
3 Iran
5 Belgium
6 South Africa
7 Argentina
8 Namibia
9 Czech Republic
10 Kazakhstan
11 Australia
12 New Zealand

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  1. All credit to South Africa for stepping in to host this tournament after the disappointing late cancellation of the event last year which had been set to take place in Belgium. And really good to see teams from countries without a strong indoor history doing well. It felt like a true ‘World’ tournament.

    I have no objection to paying £5 to be able to stream the tournament. For a lover of indoor hockey, that represents extremely good value. However, I recognise that many who would have dipped in here or there would have been put off from doing so by the cost. And the pay wall means that it becomes impossible to share highlights or talking points beyond those which the FIH choose to share on social media. So I wonder if the pay wall is ultimately self defeating when it comes to inspiring players who enjoy the game, but already struggle to find indoor hockey opportunities. And the reduced public interaction with the tournament will surely only dissuade potential sponsors?

    It was a disappointment to see a smaller than full size court being used. I understand that practical constraints mean that this is very often the case in many leagues, but given that the rules of indoor hockey encourage use of a full size court where possible, surely we could achieve this for the actual world cup? If not then maybe it is time to change the rules?

    Finally let us hope that this is the last tournament which suffers a COVID hangover. To see an indoor world cup without the Germans is a huge shame. Scheduling this competition a week after the men’s outdoor world cup, and in direct competition with the end of the German domestic season did somewhat devalue indoor hockey’s showpiece.


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