HOCKEY: Ireland men qualify for 2016 Olympic Games

Ireland men have qualified for the 2016 Olympics
Ireland men have qualified for the 2016 Olympics

Ireland men’s hockey team have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Their qualification dream became reality after Australia beat New Zealand 3-2 in the Oceania Cup final on Sunday.

Australia’s success left a place for Ireland as the team who ranked highest at the Hockey World League semi-finals in July, who had not already qualified.

Ireland finished fifth at the Antwerp event and are the 11th team to qualify.

It is the first time in 107 years that an Irish hockey team has participated in an Olympic Games.

Ireland picked up silver medals in the inaugural Olympic hockey event, which took place in London in 1908.

“It probably hasn’t sunk in yet but we’re over the moon. It’s testament to what the guys have achieved this year on and off the field,” said Ireland coach Craig Fulton.

Ireland will join Brazil, India, Germany, Canada, Spain, Belgium, Great Britain, Argentina, Netherlands, Australia and one remaining qualifier at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which take place from 5-21 August 2016.