Hockey teams will face tough competition at Olympics

The South African teams will be up against it as the lowest-ranked sides in their groups at the London Olympic Games.

The men’s draw had already been completed before the SA men’s team defeated Japan 2-1 in the last of the qualifying tournaments in Kakamigahara on Sunday to fill the final available place.

Ranked 12th by the FIH, the SA men will face Australia (first), Great Britain (fourth), Spain (fifth), Pakistan (eighth) and Argentina (ninth) at the Games in July.

The SA women’s side, who booked their place by winning the qualifying tournament in Delhi in February, were drawn in Group B on Saturday,

Ranked 12th by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), they will face Argentina (second), Germany (third), New Zealand (sixth), Australia (seventh) and the United States (10th).

In Group A of the women’s competition, world number one the Netherlands were drawn alongside hosts Great Britain (fourth), China (fifth), Korea (eighth), Japan (ninth) and Belgium (16th).