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Final pots confirmed as Ireland await Monday's Olympic qualification draw

The draw takes place in Switzerland tomorrow.

Ireland women remain eighth in the world rankings.
Ireland women remain eighth in the world rankings.
Image: PressEye/Jonathan Porter/INPHO

IRELAND WOMEN HAVE maintained their position in the top 10 of the latest International Hockey Federation [FIH] world rankings, and thus will have home advantage for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers.

The Green Army stay in eighth position ahead of Monday’s draw in Switzerland, with Sean Dancer’s side set to face one of Korea, Belgium, USA or Canada over a two-legged tie for a place at Tokyo 2020.

Following New Zealand’s automatic qualification for next summer’s Games overnight, the FIH has confirmed the final pots, with Ireland women in Pot 2 for the draw, which gets underway at 12pm on Monday. 

Ireland, the World Cup silver medallists, will fancy their chances of securing qualification on home soil, with 15th-placed Canada arguably the most favourable draw. 

Dancer’s side defeated USA at last summer’s World Cup and beat Belgium in the recent European Championships, although Korea beat Ireland in the FIH Series final at Banbridge back in June.

The Ireland men, meanwhile, will face an away trip to Great Britain, Spain, New Zealand or Canada as they bid to qualify for their second consecutive Olympics after breaking the seal in Rio.

Currently without a head coach following the resignation of Alexander Cox, the Green Machine will need a big performance to reverse their fortunes heading into the two-legged qualifier, which are scheduled for 25-27 October and 1-3 November.

Following their relegation from the top tier of the European Championships, Ireland have dropped down to 13th in the men’s world rankings.

Olympic qualifying draw pots:

Men

Pot 1 (Host teams):

1. Netherlands
2. India
3. Germany

Pot 2 (Host teams):

4. Great Britain
5. Spain
6.  New Zealand
7. Canada

Pot 3 (Away teams):

8. Malaysia
9. France
10. Ireland
11. Korea

Pot 4 (Away teams):

12. Pakistan
13. Austria
14. Russia

Women

Pot 1 (Host teams):

1. Australia
2. Germany
3. Great Britain

Pot 2 (Host teams):

4. Spain
5. Ireland
6. India
7. China

Pot 3 (Away teams):

8. Korea
9. Belgium
10. USA
11. Canada

Pot 4 (Away teams):

12. Italy
13. Chile
14. Russia.

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Ryan Bailey

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