10 Mar 2011

Easier Olympic qualifying process for NZ hockey teams

6:57 pm on 10 March 2011

New Zealand Hockey's road to the Olympics has been eased a little with confirmation Oceania will retain its second qualifying spot in the men's competition for next year's London Olympics.

In November, international hockey's governing body the FIH, announced a second allocation would be given to Oceania but several nations appealed the decision which led to it being reviewed.

In previous years, only one Oceania qualifying spot was available which meant the Black Sticks men's and women's teams often having to go to qualification tournaments in the year of the Olympics.

However the FIH has reconfirmed the qualifying process with the top two teams from the Oceania Cup, which will be held in Australia qualifying for London.

The New Zealand men's team is currently ranked seventh in the world.