Hockey: GB teams learn Olympic qualifying opponents
PUBLISHED: 15:30 09 September 2019
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Great Britain’s men and women have discovered the opposition who stand between them and a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The men have been drawn against Malaysia while the women will tackle Chile at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre over the weekend of November 1-3 in what is the last opportunity for teams to qualify for the Olympics.
Great Britain's women have never played Chile at a major tournament with their opponents currently ranked 18th in the world.
Malaysia's men - ranked 11th in the world - are more familiar to the British men and the likes of Adam Dixon, David Ames and Phil Roper all recently featured for England in a 3-3 draw against Malaysia at August's Four Nations Tournament, whilst Alan Forsyth scored for Scotland in a 2-1 defeat to the Tigers at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Head coach Danny Kerry said: "Malaysia are a good side with some great individuals and a number of threats, but having played them recently gives you that understanding of what that threat is.
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"They have some good corner routines and some very fast players who are individually skilful. They also have some very large aerial passes, play well on the counter-attack and, with a very experienced coach in Roelant Oltmans, will be very well prepared. We will respect them and prepare accordingly.
"Playing at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre and having a home crowd is something I personally enjoy and feel the athletes enjoy having the support behind us too.
"It's a great atmosphere there and I think it will be a cracking couple of days that myself and the athletes will really look forward to."
Both the men and women need to qualify separately through the two-legged matches. If one gender qualifies it does not mean the other progresses alongside them.
Though Great Britain's women are the reigning Olympic champions, they do not qualify automatically for the Tokyo Games.
Tickets are set to go on general sale for the Olympic Qualifiers on Monday September 16.