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Hockey Teams Fail To Secure World Cup Berths

KABELO BORANABI
The National Hockey sides suffered embarrassing defeats at the World Cup qualifiers PIC: BOTSWANA HOCKEY ASSOCIATION FB PAGE
The men and women’s national Hockey teams failed to secure places at the 2022 Indoor Hockey World Cup following dismissal performances at the qualifiers.

The teams were in South Africa over the weekend competing at the 2021 FIH Indoor Africa qualifiers that started on Friday (April 16th) and ended yesterday (Sunday April 18th).

They failed to score a point after four rounds of games each. The qualification tournament that was held at the Thomas Moore College, Durban pitted the local teams against continental heavyweights, South Africa and Namibia after a number of countries in the southern region of the continent pulled out.

The tournament was initially set for September 2020 but was postponed due to raging number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the continent.

The postponement forced the Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) to pull out of the African outdoor hockey qualifiers to focus on securing their maiden World Cup berth.

The local teams entered the triangular tournament as the underdogs.

They faced a Namibian women’s side that is ranked 10th, while the men’s side are placed 17th in the world rankings.

South Africa were overwhelming favourites ahead of the tournament coming in as the highest ranking men’s team at the 11th spot whilst the women’s

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team in number 14 on the world rankings. The local teams on the other hand are yet to receive a ranking.

The trio, for both men and women teams played in a round robin format and the winners between South Africa and Namibia would book a place at the world spectacle to be held next year.

Things got off to a rough start as the women’s team lost 26-0 to South Africa before a 30-0 beating at the hands of Namibia on Friday, while the men’s side was also handed a heavy 36-0 defeat by South Africa as they lost 27-0 to Namibia.

Day two of the qualification did not produce different outcomes with the team losing 20-0 and 18-0 to Namibia and South Africa respectively.

The men’s team closed their tournament with a 37-0 defeat to Namibia before a 30-0 loss to South Africa. Namibia and South Africa were to play yesterday afternoon in finals to book a place at the world spectacle.

The Indoor Hockey World Cup takes place in Liege, Belgium from February 2-6 2022.



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