(Photo Credit: Yan Huckendubler)
Toronto, ON – The Canadian men’s field hockey team has a chance at securing a spot at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil if all goes well in Pan American Games semifinal competition Thursday in Toronto.
A combination of Canada winning its semifinal match against Brazil (Thursday, 7:30pm ET), and Argentina winning its semifinal against Chile would mean the Canadians – no matter what happens in the final match – get a ticket to Rio in 2016.
In total, there are three outcomes of the Pan American Games final match from which Canada can qualify for Rio.
First, if the Canadians advance to and win the final match – regardless of their opponent – they would qualify for Rio as the Pan American champion.
The second scenario requires the final match to include Canada and Argentina.
Because of its top three finish at the 2015 World League Semifinal in Buenos Aires (which was also an Olympic qualifying tournament), the Argentines have already earned a spot in the 2016 Games.
If they advance to the Pan American Games final, face Canada and win, their World League qualification is nullified in favour of their Pan Am Games qualification. As next in line, based on its fourth place finish in Buenos Aires, Canada would then qualify for Rio.
Finally, if Argentina advances to the final and wins against an opponent other than Canada, the Canadians would once again qualify because of Argentina’s double-qualification.
For more information regarding the men’s field hockey 2016 Olympic qualification pathway, click here.
The Canadian men last competed in the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing, but missed out on London 2012 after a loss to Argentina at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
This time around, however, Canada’s World League Semifinal placing has led to an increased possibility of qualification, based on various scenarios, the first three of which (listed above) take place at the Pan Am Games.
If none of the scenarios play out in Toronto this week, Canada will still have an opportunity to qualify for Rio if one of several teams (Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, or the Netherlands) is able to win its continental qualifier later this summer.