Masibo strikes as Kenya bounce back to edge Zambia in Olympic qualifiers

Kenya's Constant Wakhura (right) in action against Zambia.[Africa Hockey Federation]

The national men’s hockey teams on Monday picked their first win at the ongoing African Hockey Road to Paris 2024 qualifiers in South Africa after narrowly defeating Zambia 1-0.

Robert Masibo scored a penalty stroke in the 53rd minute to hand the East Africans a lifeline after having begun the games on Sunday with a 2-0 defeat to Egypt.

Kenya are in Group B alongside Egypt, Ghana, and Zambia. Group A comprises Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

To qualify for the knock out stages, Kenya must defeat Ghana on Tuesday.

The men’s and women’s teams that win the tournament will seal their berths to the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

The team that finishes as the runner-up in the men’s competition will get a second opportunity to qualify for the Olympics, at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024.

A total of 12 teams, in each of the men’s and women’s categories, will compete in Hockey at the Olympic Games. Hosts France have gained direct qualification.

Australia (men and women) were winners of the Oceania Cup, which sealed their qualification, while Netherlands (men and women) qualified as the European champions.

Indian men and Chinese women clinched their spots at the Olympics through their gold medal victories at the Asian Games.

Apart from the winners of the African Hockey Road to Paris 2024 winners of the continental championships in Pan America will also gain direct qualification to the upcoming Olympic Games.

The FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024, which will be held in January 2024, provide a second opportunity for teams to qualify for the remaining 6 spots at the Olympic Games.

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