18 Dec 2015

NZ men's hockey team off to Rio Olympics

11:29 am on 18 December 2015

The New Zealand men's hockey team has officially been invited to next year's Rio Olympic Games.

The New Zealand captain Simon Child laments his team's defeat.

The New Zealand captain Simon Child laments his team's defeat. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Black Sticks failed to gain automatic qualification twice this year, through the World League and then the Oceania Series.

However South Africa decided not to send their men's team to Rio, leaving one spot available, with New Zealand the highest-ranked team not attending.

The International Hockey Federation has confirmed that the New Zealand men and Spainish women have been invited to fill the last two spots in Rio.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive Kereyn Smith has advised Hockey New Zealand the invitation will be accepted.

"To have both the men's and women's hockey teams in Rio is hugely exciting for New Zealand and we look forward to working with Hockey New Zealand as team progresses towards selection in 2016," Smith said.

The New Zealand men are ranked eighth in the world.

The Black Sticks women have already qualified for Rio.

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