Hockey teams qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Hockey

Hockey teams qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

03 November 2019 / 19:23
Olympic qualification is in the bag for Great Britain's hockey teams but captain Hollie Pearne-Webb knows her squad have plenty more to offer ahead of Tokyo 2020.

The women’s outfit needed a play-off qualifier to secure their place in Japan but a two-legged win over Chile ensured they will take their place at the top table next summer.

Perfection has eluded them thus far and while they have an Olympic gold medal from Rio 2016 to defend, Pearne-Webb knows what has gone before won’t influence the future.

“It’s a hard eight months ahead for us all. We all want to be on that plane to Tokyo, so competition and training is going to be even more important and harder than ever,” she said.

“There’s going to be competition for those 16 places.

“We’ve got a different squad completely so our aims are based on us not looking back. We don’t have any pressure just because we are the reigning champions.

“But I think all of us will want a gold medal so I think that will be our aim. I think going into Rio people would have wrote us off and I think if probably if people were looking at it now they would think the same.

“Every single one of us in our squad know we have so much more to give and over the next eight months we will try and develop that and there will definitely be a chance of us getting gold at Tokyo.”

Pearne-Webb and her side boasted a 3-0 lead from the first leg and pressed home their advantage, with Tess Howard getting the first goal of the second game within just four minutes.

Rio hero Laura Unsworth doubled the advantage before Chile pulled a goal back, but it didn’t stop Mark Hager’s side from booking their place in Japan.

They’ll be joined by Danny Kerry and the men’s squad, who overcame Malaysia 9-3 on aggregate after winning the second game 5-2.

Alan Forsyth’s hat-trick and a double from Sam Ward took them over the line – 31 years on from the Olympic gold-medal winning performance of Seoul 1988.

"There was a lot of pressure on me - all over social media I was being told I was on 99 goals, so it was hard," Forsyth told BBC Sport.

"My mum was here on Saturday so I tried to get it done while she was here, but we got the win, that's what matters.

"I don't want to look back and be disappointed but I use not being selected for Rio [as motivation] every day - I missed one Olympics and I don't want to miss another. I know we've qualified but I've got a lot of work to do to make sure I'm in the team for Tokyo."

Sportsbeat 2019