Australia, NZ qualify for Olympics


The Australian and New Zealand men’s hockey teams joined their female counterparts in making the London Olympics on Wednesday after Fiji pulled out of the Oceania Cup qualifying tournament.
The Fijian men were due to take on Australia and New Zealand in the five-day tournament beginning on October 5 in Tasmania, but withdrew because of “government and corporate financial restraints”, organisers said.
The women’s team announced their withdrawal last month. The exit means world number one Australia and New Zealand qualify automatically for next year’s Games. Despite Fiji pulling out, the Oceania Cup will continue with Australia coach Ric Charlesworth saying there was still plenty to play for.
“The fact that we will play New Zealand once more is good for the team’s overall development,” he said. “Any opportunity to play a quality team in the countdown to the Olympics must be used properly.”