Sweden, Denmark and the Czech Republic will finalize the group of 12 women’s hockey teams participating in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China after qualification tournament wins over the weekend.
Sweden was the favorite in Group E, having played in every previous Olympic women’s tournament to date. Sweden made it to the final in 2006 and won bronze in 2002, losing the third-place game in 2010 and 2014. Sweden defeated France 3-2 on Sunday to secure a spot in the Olympics.
The Danes, like the men’s team, will participate in its first Olympic tournament after securing a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to Germany in Group D play. Denmark had a perfect tournament beforehand, beating Italy 4-0 and Austria 1-0. Denmark has spent very little time in the top women’s World Championship, earning promotion in 2019 for the first time before finishing last in 2021. The Danes will host the 2022 tournament next spring.
The Czech Republic, ranked seventh in the world, will also play in the Olympics for the first time after winning the Group C event. The team has historically struggled in Olympic qualification play, finishing as the runner-up in the pre-2014 and pre-2018 events. With the Czechs cruising to a 5-1 win against Hungary, who were also undefeated before Sunday, the Czechs earned the historic promotion
The groups in Beijing will be as follows:
Group A: USA, Canada, Finland, Russia, Switzerland
Group B: Japan, Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark, China