Senior Sports Reporter
PREPARATIONS for the African Hockey Road to Paris 2024 (Men/Women) qualifiers are set to go a notch higher following the recent announcement of the final teams.
The qualifiers will be held in Pretoria, South Africa, from October 29 to November 5, at the University of Pretoria.
Zimbabwe women’s team coach Bhavik Chauhan said their build-up has been going well with the team meeting three times a week.
“We have been very lucky that all the players have been committed…All our preparations have been on track.
“So, the aim is getting our tactical plan correct.
“I think if we are able to understand what our tactical game is, we will be able to counter what all our opposition are able to do.
“That’s our main key focus at the moment,” said Chauhan.
The winners in each category, men and women, qualify for the Olympics.
In the men’s section the second-placed team will have another chance to try and qualify at the Olympic round two qualifiers next year.
Zimbabwe’s women are up against South Africa and Nigeria in Pool A.
Chauhan conceded it’s not going to be easy as they face African champions, South Africa, in the pool stage but remains optimistic.
The two teams met at the Africa Cup of Nations last year in Ghana and Zimbabwe lost 3-0.
“Definitely extremely difficult. I think we have got South Africa as our first game, they are the current champions for Africa and they have got the highest ranking in Africa, so they are going to be tough.
“But, I think we played them last year when we went to the Africa Cup in Ghana, we did extremely well, we lost to them…But there were lots of opportunities we missed though.
“We have got a great chance.
“The main objective is to get to the semi-final position and if we are able to get into semi-final spot, that should hopefully be able to help us because the other Pool is a lot trickier but at the same time the teams are definitely easier to beat compared to South Africa,” said Chauhan.
Pool B is made up of Ghana, Kenya, Namibia
Evans Chikwani, Amos Chomunorwa, Alec Chomunorwa, Gift Chomunorwa (vice-captain), Tinokudzaishe Elijah, Tadiwa Kamusewu, Mutsawashe Kanyangarara, Tatenda Kanyangarara, Phinias Makarara, Eliah Mangere (GK), Pritchard Matambo (captain), Fleming Mazuwa (GK), Asme Mpofu, Arnold Mpofu, Constantine Muchono, Esau Mufandaedza, Tafadzwa Mugore, Onward Shumba.
Brad Heuer, Forbes Motsi, Norman Muchacha, Lucky Sikisa.
Mercedes Beekes, Briony Bray, Kelly Diplock, Roxy Frazer-Mackenzie, Nicolle Grant (captain), Simone Herbst, Iman Johnson, Tatenda Maswera, Jenna Mathieson (GK), Nakai Mujaranji, Tanatswa Mutarumuswa (GK), Farirai Nengare, Natalie Terblanche, Alexi Terblanche (vice-captain), Taya Trivella, Michelle Williams, Rumbidzaiishe Zimuto, Rumbi Zimuto (vice-captain).
Tsungai Chadzinya, Chiyedza Chiseya, Bethel Chiwondzo, Briangh Clark, Athina Mujiba, Kelcy Ndoro, Kaylee Sithole, Reinette Van Heerden.
Pool A: South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Uganda.
Pool B: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia.
Pool A: South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe.
Pool B: Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia.