KAKAMIGAHARA, Japan – South Africa beat the Czech Republic 6-2 on Saturday for their second straight win in the men's hockey Olympic qualifiers for this year's London Games.
Japan, seeking their first berth in the Olympics in 44 years, defeated Austria 4-1, while China's Liu Yixian scored a hat-trick to give his side a lopsided 8-0 victory over Brazil.
The day's action left South Africa, Japan and China sharing the lead after the second round of the tournament ahead of the next matches on Monday.
South Africa are rated top among the participants, with a 12th place in the world rankings.
The top two teams in the round robin will face each other in the final, vying for the last ticket to London.
The event is the last of three final Olympic qualifying tournaments that started in February to decide the last three berths and wrap up a long process to choose 12 teams for the London Games.
The 11 men's teams to have already qualified for the Games are:
Australia, Great Britain, Spain, Pakistan, Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, New Zealand, India and Belgium. – Sapa-AFP