Hockey at Asian Games 2023 came to an end today with the India men’s team and Chinese women’s team claiming the gold medals and securing qualification to the Olympic Games Paris 2024! India and Japan faced each other in the men’s final yesterday with India registering a 5-1 win to secure their fourth gold medal in the competition’s history, and Olympic qualification. In the women’s competition it was China taking on Korea in the finals. China edged the finals with a 2-0 win and in the process collected their 4th women’s Hockey gold at the Asian Games.
Following India’s victory in the men’s competition Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia and Pakistan will now move on to the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024 where they will get a second opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
Following China’s victory in the women’s competition, Korea, India, Japan and Malaysia will now move on to the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024 where they will get a second opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
In the men’s competition, India were the dominant in Pool A, scoring 58 goals on their way to winning all 5 pool matches. Japan edged past Pakistan in a tense encounter to finish above them and secure their semi-final spot. In Pool B, China were the surprise package, defeating 4-time gold medalists Korea and earning a draw against Malaysia to top the pool. Korea got the better of Malaysia in their head-to-head match, propelling them to the semi-final.
India registered a 5-3 victory over Korea in the semi-final while Japan ended China’s unbeaten run with a 3-2 win, setting up a rematch against India, who had beaten them 4-2 in the pool stage match between the two sides.
The men’s finals saw Japan do what they do best, maintaining an incredibly compact defensive structure and frustrating the free flowing Indian attack for most of the first half, but India managed to create a breakthrough just before half time, with Manpreet Singh putting them on the board. India scored three quick goals in the second half to snatch all the incentive and while Japan added a goal in the final quarter, India came away comfortable winners through a 5-1 scoreline, securing the gold medal.
Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh, speaking after the finals, said: “First of all a big thank you to all our supporters. This victory would not have been possible without their backing and their belief in this team. Our goal was to get nothing less than gold at the Asian Games and qualify for the Olympics and I am so proud of the team that we could achieve it.”
In the women’s competition, India and Korea finished level on points in Pool A, having won 3 matches each, while playing out a draw in their head-to-head matchup. India finished first thanks to their superior goal difference. In Pool B, Japan won all four of their matches taking the top spot, while China, who lost to Japan despite dominating the encounter, finished second by winning all the remaining pool matches.
China dominated India in the first semi-final, winning 4-0 against their higher ranked opponents, thanks to their stellar work in the penalty corners, which gave them 3 of their 4 goals. In the second semi-final Japan and Korea could not be separated in regulation time, ending the game in a 2-2 tie, but it was Korea who held their nerve in the ensuing shoot-out to qualify for the final.
In the women’s final, China got on the board early through a goal scored by Yi Chen and carried that lead into the half-time interval, dominating possession and not allowing Korea to sustain a long spell of territorial dominance. The second half followed a similar pattern with China maintaining great discipline, not conceding a single penalty corner through the game and added a late goal via Meirong Zout to seal the win and the gold medal.
A total of 12 teams, in each of the men’s and women’s categories, will compete in Hockey at the Olympic Games. Hosts France have gained direct qualification. Australia (men and women) were winners of the Oceania Cup, which sealed their qualification, while Netherlands (men and women) qualified as the European champions. Indian men and China women have now clinched their spots at the Olympics through their gold medal victories at the Asian Games. The winners of each of the remaining 2 continental championships in the Americas and Africa will also gain direct qualification to the upcoming Olympic Games. The FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024, which will be held in January 2024, provide a second opportunity for teams to qualify for the remaining 6 spots at the Olympic Games.
Please visit Olympics.Hockey for the latest news and all the information from FIH about the Paris 2024 hockey Olympic tournaments!