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IANS

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved the qualification pathway for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games hockey tournaments, the international hockey federation (FIH) announced here on Thursday.

The IOC approved the proposal as submitted by the FIH according to which, one spot in each category is awarded to the team from the host nation, five berths to the five Continental champions and six places will be decided based on qualifying tournaments.

As has been the case since Beijing 2008, 12 teams per gender will play in the Paris 2024 Olympic hockey tournaments, with each squad consisting of 16 athletes.

According to the Paris 2024 qualification pathway, hosts France has bagged the direct qualification spots in both men's and women's sections as they satisfy the FIH criteria of achieving a ranking of 25 or better in the World Rankings since the end of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Both the France teams fulfill this criterion -- men are ranked 10th and women 25th as per the current rankings.

Five spots will be decided through the Continental route -- the winning team of each of the continental competitions -- African Hockey Road to Paris 2023, Pan American Games 2023, Asian Games 2022, EuroHockey Championship 2023 and Oceania Cup 2023.

"Should France also win the EuroHockey Championship 2023, the second-placed nation will not subsequently qualify, but the quota place will be allocated to the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualification Tournaments," the FIH said in a release on Thursday.

The remaining teams in each gender will make it through FIH Hockey Olympic Qualification Tournaments -- two events consisting of eight teams each (16 teams in total), held in early 2024.

The number of teams from each Continent participating in these tournaments will be based on Continental quotas, which will be determined according to the FIH World Rankings on January 31, 2023, the release said.

The teams filling each quota, and therefore invited to participate, will be based on performance at the Continental championships. The top three teams in each of these tournaments will qualify.

FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: "On behalf of FIH, I'd like to extend our sincerest thanks to the IOC for having approved the qualification pathway that we suggested. This will provide for absolutely thrilling matches all over the world, which is wonderful for athletes and fans alike!"
 

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