Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Olympic hockey qualifier: Great Britain women out to deny hungry Belgium

Belgium have fallen agonisingly short in successive FIH Olympic qualifying, while GB are aiming for fourth successive medal

Great Britain women’s attempts at a fourth successive Olympic medal will take a big step forward on Thursday when they take on Belgium, the top-ranked side in Valencia, in the Paris qualifying semi-finals. 

Victory for GB will book a ticket to Paris 2024 against a team which has beaten David Ralph’s side twice with a weakened squad in their last two meetings. Should GB be defeated then they will face the loser of the Spain and Ireland encounter.

The question now is whether the aura of GB’s Olympic successes and their big game players (four remain from the 2015 qualifying event here in Valencia) can forge the cohesive unit to repel the Red Panthers, who have gone mighty close to qualifying at the last two Olympics after appearing at London 2012. 

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