Zimbabwe tumble in hockey rankings

By Chris Bvunzawabaya

ZIMBABWE has tumbled on the hockey world rankings and are now the lowest ranked in Africa after a series of dismal performances.



vetica, sans-serif”>Once highly regarded among Africa’s six hockey-playing nations, Zimbabwe have sunk below South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.


According to the latest Sahara World Hockey Team Rankings which were released by the International Hockey Federation (IHF) after the Africa Nations Cup held in South Africa recently, Zimbabwe’s men and women sides are now rated 44th and 42nd respectively in the world out of the 63 men’s and 62 women’s teams affiliated to the IHF.


The IHF world ranking system includes all senior men and women teams with calculations based upon final rankings of countries at Olympic Games, IHF world events, continental championships and all qualifying events for these tournaments.


During the period under review the Zimbabwe’s men’s team garnered only 69 points to drop to 44th in the world and sixth on the continent while the women’s side is placed 42nd in the world and sixth on the continent.


In the men’s rankings, Australia are still the best team in the world followed by Netherlands while South Africa maintained their position as the top team in Africa at number 10.


Egypt remained unchanged as the second best team in Africa and 15th in the world while Ghana, Nigeria and Namibia have sent ripples by jumping to 35th, 37th and 42nd respectively.


In the women’s rankings, the Netherlands are the top team in the world followed by Argentina, while South Africa are placed 11th ahead of Ghana, tied with Canada at number 22. Nigeria and Namibia are now ranked 36th and 37th in the world and occupy the continent’s third and fourth places respectively while Kenya have jumped to 40th.


Financial constraints bedevilling Zimbabwean sport have seen the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe failing to send the men and women’s senior teams to this year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament held in Pretoria last week.

Zimbabwe’s women’s hockey side won the country’s first Olympic gold in 1980, but fortunes have since changed.

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