Ghana’s national men and women’s hockey teams, the Black Sticks will from today begin the chase for qualification slots for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The two teams will compete at the African Cup of Nations tournament underway in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
The week-long tournament will see the men and women’s teams battle it out for the sole ticket to represent the continent at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The female team will battle host South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Kenya.
By the competition’s format, the top teams will qualify for next year’s Olympics.
Ranked 32nd in the world, the Ghanaian side will find it tough battling it out with favourites and six-time African champions, South Africa, who are ranked 16th in the world.
But Ghana coach, Emmanuel Alhaji told the Times Sports his sides were ready to cause major upsets against the favourites.
“Yes, South Africa is tough but it is a competition and there is a likelihood that surprises can happen. We will remain focused until we achieve our dream for being in South Africa.”
Ghana will come up against Zimbabwe today and would count on the experience of offensive midfielder and skipper Nafisatu Umaru who recently returned from Rome side, Butterfly Hockey and Cricket club where she had a short stint.
Ghana will play Kenya tomorrow and Nambia on Saturday before facing South Africa on Sunday
Meanwhile, the male side ranked 36th in the world will battle it out with Kenya today, Nambia tomorrow, South Africa on Thursday, Egypt on Saturday and Zimbabwe on Sunday for qualification.