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Indian women's hockey team qualifies for 2016 Rio Olympics

India will take part after a gap of 36 years.

The Indian women’s hockey team finished fifth at the Hockey World League semifinals

In a red-letter day for women’s hockey in the country, the Indian women’s hockey team sealed a berth at next year’s 2016 Rio Olympics after Great Britain defeated Spain in the semifinals of the European Championships on Friday, Hindustan Times reports.

The win over Spain for England meant that two teams who have already booked a place for the Olympics next year were in line for the European Continental title, thereby opening up a quota spot.

The Indian team sealed its spot for the marquee Games next year, courtesy its fifth place finish at the Hockey World League semifinals at the beginning of July. The governing body for the sport, Fédération Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon (FIH) confirmed the news of India’s qualification after it began to look like it would be either England or Netherlands who would lift the EuropenContinental title.

This is only the second time that the women’s team have made the cut to the Olympics after the 1980 Moscow Olympics, which incidentally was also the last time that the men’s team won an Olympic medal.

The women’s team qualified for those Games via invitation and finished in fourth place.

India joins England, China, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, Korea, USA, Argentina and New Zealand as the nations to have booked their place for Rio de Janiero.

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