The Women’s EuroHockey5s Championship 2023 came to an end today in Walcz, Poland as Netherlands won the gold medal, and along with Poland and Ukraine, qualified for the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup Oman 2024 in the women’s competition.
Netherlands and Poland were the dominant sides in Pool A and Pool B respectively, winning all four of their matches in spectacular fashion and topping their pools. Ukraine in Pool A and Switzerland in Pool B finished in second positions, winning three games and losing one.
The first semi-final saw Netherlands ease past Switzerland in an impressive second half-display, as they expanded their one-goal half time lead to win 5-0, with five different players getting on the scoresheet. The second semi-final proved to be a much closer affair with hosts Poland surviving a late comeback by Ukraine to win 3-2!
Netherlands and Poland, through their wins in the semi-finals, guaranteed their places in the upcoming FIH Hockey5s World Cup Oman 2024! With a third spot up for grabs, Switzerland and Ukraine met in the bronze medal match. Ukraine put on a brilliant display of attacking hockey scoring three goals in each half to breeze past Switzerland and qualify for the inaugural World Cup!
Alina Fadieieva, captain of the Ukrainian team, speaking of her team’s terrific achievement, said: “I am very satisfied with this excellent game from our team. I want to say thank you to all our supporters that watched the game. We have a lot of emotions. After the semi-final, we were quite disappointed because we had a lot of chances to win and make the final; but we are happy to win today and go to the World Cup. This is a victory for all of Ukraine!”
The finals saw Netherlands, who had been the most impressive team in the tournament continue their excellent run and take a 3-goal lead inside the opening 10 minutes of the contest. Poland managed to pull one goal back at the stroke of halftime, but crucially Netherlands were the first to get on the board in the second half, to restore their 3-goal lead in the 22nd minute. Both sides added two more goals late in the half, as the game ended in a 7-3 win for Netherlands.
Noor de Baat, captain of the Netherlands team, speaking after her team’s win said: “Really great; it was such a nice match against Poland. The atmosphere was really nice and we played really well. It was easy to motivate ourselves, especially playing against the hometown side. We had a really nice support too with our families here.”
The inaugural edition of the FIH Hockey5s World Cup 2024 will be played in Muscat, Oman from 24-31 January 2024, with 16 teams competing in both men’s and women’s tournaments.
In the women’s competition Namibia, South Africa and Zambia from Africa have qualified for the World Cup, alongside hosts Oman. USA, Uruguay and Paraguay have qualified from Pan America. Apart from Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine who have now qualified from Europe, three teams each from Oceania and Asia will also qualify for the World Cup later this year.
In the men’s competition Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland from Europe, and Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria from Africa have qualified for the World Cup, alongside hosts Oman. USA, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica are the three qualifiers from Pan America. Three teams each from Oceania and Asia will also qualify for the World Cup later in the year.