Team GB winning coach Danny Kerry and Rio’s golden captain Kate Richardson-Walsh take their first steps towards qualifying Canada for the Paris Olympics this week.
The Canadian Wolf Pack will aim to go one better than silver in 2019 and land gold at the Pan American Games in Chile, which will automatically book their tickets to Paris 2024.
“For this team to be successful on the field it needs to stick to our principles of play, our playing identity, it is the bedrock of understanding and performance,” said Kerry, who commutes back and forth from the UK in blocks, while assistant Richardson-Walsh is currently residing in Canada.
“Ultimately that is where success lays, focussing and doing our best at things that are in our control.”
Canada kicks off the tournament with a clash against Cuba on Oct 26. The finals on Nov 4 are sold out.
Canada’s team includes captain, Natalie Sourisseau, Victoria’s Anna Mollenhauer, as well as the defensive duo of Karli Johansen and Sara McManus. Both Sourisseau and McManus will be playing in their fourth Pan American Games.
A total of eight teams will compete in each of men’s and women’s Hockey. Only gold will take a nation to Paris.
The teams classifying 2nd and 3rd in the men’s competition and the teams classifying from 2nd to 4th in the women’s competition will get a second opportunity to qualify at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024.
In the men’s competition, Pool A comprises Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru, while Brazil, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and United States will compete in Pool B. Argentina have won the event 10 times in 14 tournaments, Canada winning the other four.
In the women’s competition, Pool A comprises Argentina, Trinidad & Tobago, United States and Uruguay, while Canada, Chile, Cuba and Mexico will compete in Pool B.
Argentina women have won gold seven out of nine with the US capturing top podium twice.
The Olympic qualifiers, which will be held in January 2024, provide a second opportunity for teams to qualify for the remaining six spots at the Paris Games.