March 12 - The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has named the 16 teams heading to Rotterdam and London in June to compete at the last of the two women's Hockey World League semi-final tournaments.
Host Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Korea, Japan, India, Belgium and Chile will make their way to Rotterdam for the Rabobank Hockey World League semi-final, being held on June 13-23, with the Dutch entering the event as the top team in the FIH world rankings after winning the Olympic gold medal at London 2012.
New Zealand, Germany and Korea were also automatically qualified for the competition, which is being held in conjunction with the men's Hockey World League semi-finals, thanks to their top-eight spot in the world rankings, while Chile is the lowest-ranked nation of the group, at number 18.
Belgium is the only team in the Rotterdam event to play in both the Hockey World League Round One and Round Two tournaments.
Korea, Japan, the Netherlands and Chile form Group A, with New Zealand, Germany, India and Belgium making up Group B for the tournament in Rotterdam.
Meanwhile, hosts England, Argentina, Australia, China, the United States, South Africa, Spain and Italy will play at the second event, the Investec Hockey World League semi-final.
The Olympic silver medal winning Argentinean women are the highest-ranked team in this semi-final, currently holding the second spot in the FIH world ranking, with England - featuring players from the British team that won bronze at London 2012, Australia and China joining Argentina as the teams that automatically qualified for the semi-finals thanks to their places among the world's top teams.
Italy, on the other hand, made headlines by winning its Hockey World League Round Two tournament, despite entering the event as the third-seeded team, when they finished ahead of Spain – who they could meet again in the semi-finals.
South Africa hosted and won its Hockey World League Round Two tournament, and the Americans qualified for London through the Round Two tournament in Brazil.
Argentina, China, the US and Italy will feature in London's Group A, with England, Australia, South Africa and Spain playing in Group B.
England's newly appointed women's head coach, Jason Lee, said he is relishing the opportunity to play on home turf this summer.
"The Investec World League is such an important tournament because as well as it being the route to reach the World League Final it is also the first opportunity for us to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Holland," he said.
"It's exciting to have such a key event so early in my time with the women's group and it will certainly be the main focus of our preparation for the summer alongside the Europeans."
"The tournament has a number of strong countries in it and we shouldn't take any team lightly.
"We will be aiming to avoid Argentina in the quarterfinals, which is the key game for World Cup Qualification."
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