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Nigeria’s Women Join South Africa in the Semi Finals of the African Hockey Olympic Qualifier
- Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana join South Africa in the women's semi-finals to be played on Friday
- South Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Egypt have qualified for the men's semi-finals on the same day
- The Road to Paris tournament to decide the continent's representatives is hosted by South Africa
Africa's best hockey nations are currently fighting for a place at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
The University of Pretoria is hosting the week-long qualification tournament which will see one men's and women's team book their tickets to Paris.
The positional playoffs are scheduled for Thursday, while the semi-finals will all be played on Friday. Sunday is the day allocated for the grand finals.
Nigeria's women earned their place in the semi-finals with a thrilling 2-1 win over Zimbabwe. Comfort Saturday scored both goals, with her winner coming from a penalty corner five minutes from time.
Ghana's women crushed Zambia 7-1, with Mavis Berko and Doris Antwi both grabbing a brace. Grace Bwire scored Kenya's only goal as they scraped into the semis with a 1-0 win over Namibia.
In the men's division, South Africa confirmed their place in the semi-finals with an emphatic 11-0 win over Uganda, as reported by SA Hockey, who still edged out Nigeria and Zimbabwe on goal difference.
Nigeria cost Zimbabwe a place in the semi-finals in heart-breaking fashion. Nigeria were 2-0 up in 24 minutes, but Zimbabwe had clawed back a 3-2 lead with 15 minutes to play.
James Samaila had the final say, however, with two more goals for Nigeria, the winner coming from a penalty corner in the final minute.
Egypt topped the other group with a 4-1 win over Zambia, thanks to a hat-trick by Hossameldin Ragab.
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Olympic dreams unmatched
Sports Brief recently compiled an explainer on the symbolism of the Olympic rings.
The Olympic Games are the pinnacle of athletic endeavour and the dream of any athlete.
To qualify for the Olympics is to prove that one is in an elite tier of any sporting discipline.