Sunday, July 5, 2015

Poised for Olympics...

MALAYSIA are poised to play in the Olympics after a lapse of 16 years, as fifth and sixth placing in the World League Semifinals in Antwerp, Belgium, are bound to qualify via double qualifications.
  To make matters easy for everybody, a simple explanation will be made here, as the scenario right now is same as the World League Semifinals hosted by Malaysia for the 2014 Hague World Cup.
  The only difference now is that Netherlands as hosts were automatic qualifiers, while Brazil as 2016 hosts must finish among the top six in the Pan American to qualify.
  Lets start with the Argentina World League Semifinals where the positions were 1 Germany, 2 Argentina, 3 Holland and 4 Canada.
  And lets assume at the ongoing Antwerp World League the end positions would be 1 Australia, 2 Belgium, 3 Britain, 4 India.
  Six teams, the top-three from both the World League Semifinals, are automatic qualifiers and that means Australia, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Argentina and Holland will make up six of the 12 Olympic teams.
  With five continental tournaments to offer Olympic tickets as well, there is bound to be double qualification.
  The Asian Games the only continental tournament which has been completed, with champions India taking up the seventh Rio de janeiro spot, and if they finish fourth in Antwerp, the first reserves would be Canada who were fourth in Argentina.
  The second reserves would be Spain (higher ranked than Malaysia and Ireland), who finished fifth in Argentina, and the third reserves would be the fifth spot in Antwerp (Malaysia/Ireland), the fourth reserve would be fourth placed New Zealand in Argentina (higher ranked than Malaysia and Ireland). And finally the fifth reserves would be the sixth spot in Antwerp which could belong to either Malaysia or Ireland.
  The World League format is a little long winded so bare with me.
  Now, with a long history and statistics to back the claim, the other four continental champions are easy to predict.
  In the Pan American it would be a toss between Argentina and Canada and this would open the first double qualification door. Likewise, Australia winning the Oceania Cup, and any of Netherlands/Germany/Belgium/Britain winning the European Championships; South Africa winning the African Cup and Brazil not making the top-six in the Pan American would open up five more tickets to the Olympics.
  As for South Africa, their Olympic Council has said that since they did not qualify for the World League Semifinals, they can't go to the Olympics even if they win the African Cup -- like they always do.
  If all the above has been confusing, and gibberish... rest assured that the fifth spot in Antwerp is 99 per cent going to Rio de Janeiro.
  And the sixth spot in Antwerp is 80 per cent heading towards the Olympics.
  So, Malaysia had better grab the 99 rather than the 80 per cent, by the horns when they meet Ireland today.