| Event type

Hockey, Women

Date24 July – 6 August 2021
LocationOi Hockey Stadium, Ōi Futō Chūō Kaihin Park (Oifuto Central Seaside Park), Tokyo, Japan
Participants209 from 12 countries

Nations were divided into two round-robin pools of six teams each, with the top four in each pool advancing to the quarter-finals. The tournament then proceeded on a single-elimination basis. Both Japan and Ireland were making their first appearances in the women’s hockey tournament. Since their defeat to Great Britain in the final of the 2016 Olympics, the Netherlands had won every international tournament they entered (2016/17 FIH Hockey World League, 2018 Champions Trophy, 2018 World Cup, 2019 European Championship, 2019 and 2020 FIH Pro-League) and entered as strong favorites, being well ahead of their nearest rivals in world rankings.

Pool A was dominated by the Netherlands, their only close match being a 1-0 victory over Great Britain in a re-run of the 2016 final, Frederique Matla scoring the only goal from a penalty stroke. Germany finished as runners-up in the Group with Great Britain and India being the other qualifiers for the quarter-finals.

Australia was equally dominant in Pool B, winning all five matches, although they had close matches with both Japan (1-0) and New Zealand (1-0.) None of the other teams in the group won more than three of their five matches. Spain finished as runners-up in the group on goal difference, with Argentina third. Despite China defeating New Zealand 3-2 in their final group match, it was not enough for China to qualify, and New Zealand advanced to the quarter-finals ahead of China on goal difference.

The surprise of the quarter-finals was the defeat of Australia by India, Gurjit Kaur scoring the only goal of the game from a penalty corner. In another close encounter, holders Great Britain defeated Spain in a shoot-out (2-0), following a 2-2 draw in their match. There were much easier wins for Argentina (3-0 against Germany) and the Netherlands (3-0 against New Zealand.)

The first semi-final was a repeat of the 2016 final when the Netherlands played Great Britain; however, this was a very one sided contest, Felice Albers and Marloes Keetels scoring two quick goals for the Netherlands in the second quarter. Further goals from Maria Verschoor, on a penalty corner, and a second goal from Albers put the Netherlands in control. Giselle Ansley managed to score a consolation goal for Great Britain before Frederique Matla converted a penalty corner in the final quarter to make the winning score 5-1. The second semi-final was a much closer affair, and a shock looked possible when India scored in the second minute, through a penalty corner by Gurjit Kaur, but goals from two penalty corners scored by Noel Barrionuevo ensured that Argentina progressed to the final by a score of 2-1.

As with the men’s competition, the bronze medal match was a thriller. Following a goalless first quarter, Great Britain went into a 2-0 lead with goals by Ellie Rayer and Sarah Robertson. India hit back, however, with two goals from penalty corners by Gurjit Kaur, and then went into the lead in the closing minute of the quarter when Vandana Katariya scored to give India a 3-2 lead. Britain equalised through Hollie Webb-Pearne in the third quarter and went into the lead through Grace Balsdon from a penalty corner, so the 2016 winners Great Britain finished with the bronze medal.

The final was a more one-sided affair as the Netherlands won gold for 4th time. All the goal action occurred in the second quarter with goals from Margot van Geffen and two from Caia van Maasakker, all from penalty corners, gave the Netherlands a commanding 3-0 lead. Agustina Gorzelany pulled a goal back for Argentina in the last second of the quarter. Following this the Netherlands were in control and rarely looked like conceding, winning the match 3-1, continuing their record of having won a medal at each Games since 1996.

3Great BritainGBR–––Bronze
8New ZealandNZL–––
9People's Republic of ChinaCHN–––
12South AfricaRSA–––


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