|Few spots remain for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Hockey tournaments|
With the last of the Continental competitions played, all the automatic qualifiers for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games are now known. The final scenes of the Olympic qualification drama will be played out in Osaka, Japan and Milton Keynes, England, where the Qualification tournaments for the men's and women's Olympic Hockey tournament will be played, respectively.
The men's Olympic Hockey tournament will have 12 teams competing while the women's will have 10 teams. For both the men's and women's Olympic hockey events, the automatic qualifiers are the host country, the defending Olympic champion and the winners of the following Continental competitions: All Africa Games, Asian Games, European Nations Cup, Oceania Cup and the Pan American Games. (In some instances, such as with the European Nations Cup and the Oceania Cup, the winner is also automatically qualified for the 2002 World Cup.)
The remainder of the Olympic competitors will be determined by the Qualifying tournaments for the Olympic Games, to be held for men 9-20 March 2000 in Osaka, Japan, and for the women, 24th March to 2nd April 2000 in Milton Keynes England. The 12 men's teams and 10 women's teams that have qualified to compete in these tournaments are the top ranked teams from the 1998 World Cup and the 1997 World Cup Qualifier (places 7-12, as the first six are already in the World Cup field), which have not already automatically qualified for the Olympic Games.
Six men's teams and five women's teams have automatically qualified for the Sydney 2000 Olympic hockey tournaments. There remains, therefore, six places for the men's event and five places for the women's event, to be filled through the Qualifying tournaments.
The teams that have qualified automatically for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games are:
Men's Olympic Tournament
The six remaining countries, to make a total of twelve participating countries in the Olympic tournament, will be those finishing at the first six places in the final qualifying tournament to be played in Osaka. The twelve qualified countries eligible for this tournament are: Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Great Britain, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Spain and Switzerland. The reserve countries in order are: Ireland and Italy.
Women's Olympic Tournament
The five remaining countries, to make a total of ten participating countries in the women's Olympic tournament, will be those finishing at the first five places in the final qualifying tournament to be played in Milton Keynes (GBR) from 24 March to 2 April 2000. The ten qualified countries for this tournament are: China, Germany, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and the U.S.A. The reserve countries in order are: Canada and Zimbabwe.
The pools for the Qualifying tournaments will be drafted by the FIH Competitions Committee during its meeting of 26 October 1999 for approval by the FIH Council during its meeting of 29 October 1999.