By Liam Morgan

India claimed top spot in the women's tournament following a narrow 3-1 win over Poland ©Getty ImagesHost nation India booked their place in the (FIH) Hockey World League semi-finals as they earned a dramatic 3-1 win over Poland at the Round 2 event in New Delhi.

India went into the tournament as favourites and they ensured the home crowd would not leave disappointed, although they had to fight for a narrow win against a resilient Polish side.

Oriana Walasek cancelled out Vandana Katariya's opener before the hosts, who sit in 13th place in the FIH world rankings, began to assert their dominance as goals from Rani Rampal and team captain Ritu Rani sealed the victory.

Consolation for the the Poles, ranked 28 in the world, is they will join India at the semi-final stage, which serves as an Olympic qualifying event for Rio 2016. 

Four of the seven semi-final qualification berths in the women's HWL have now been decided after Italy and Uruguay claimed the two available spots at the recent Round 2 competition in Montevideo.

"We are very happy that we won," Rani said.

"We played well but I think we could have played better.

"From here we will concentrate on Round 3 and we should feel confident about our performance here."

Elsewhere in New Delhi, Malaysia claimed third with a commanding 3-0 success over Thailand, while Russia finished their tournament on a high by taking fifth by virtue of a victory against Kazakhstan, and Ghana were seventh.

France won the men's event in Cape Town thanks to Gaspard Baumgarten's hat-trick in a 5-2 win over China ©FIHFrance won the men's event in Cape Town thanks to Gaspard Baumgarten's hat-trick in a 5-2 win over China ©FIH

In the men's Round 2 event, held in Cape Town, a hat-trick from Gaspard Baumgarten guided France to top spot as they beat surprise package China 5-2 in the final.

The Chinese earned a superb win over hosts South Africa in the semi-finals but they could not quite go one better against the French, although they will be delighted with their performance as they finished above three higher-ranked teams.

The final available place in the next phase had to be decided on a dramatic penalty shootout as Egypt stunned South Africa to claim third.

The hosts' defeat means that they will now have to rely on winning the African Championships later this year if they are to stand any chance of competing at Rio 2016. 

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