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Wales Pair Leah Wilkinson And Jacob Draper In Line For Tokyo Olympics

Wales pair Leah Wilkinson and Jacob Draper are both on course for the Tokyo Olympics after Great Britain’s men’s and women’s hockey squads secured their qualification at the weekend.

Both Welsh internationals came on as substitutes as their respective teams booked their slots in Japan next year through victories at Lee Valley.

Wilkinson was part of a GB women’s side that thrashed Chile 5-1 on aggregate in their play-off match, while Draper helped GB men earn an equally convincing 9-3 aggregate triumph over Malaysia.

GB women followed up their 3-0 advantage in their first leg with a 2-1 win over the Chileans to record their first back-to-back victories since the team triumphed at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The men beat Malaysia 5-2 on Sunday following a 4-1 first-leg win.

There could be more Welsh players off to Tokyo if Sarah Jones and Rose Thomas – who are both currently out of the GB squad – regain their places.

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In the women’s final game, early goals from Tess Howard and Laura Unsworth put the outcome beyond doubt after a testing rebuilding period for Mark Hager’s squad.

Captain Hollie Pearne-Webb, one of six Olympic gold medalists from the 2016 Rio Games in the squad, said: “It’s obviously been a massive aim of ours to qualify for the Olympics for quite some time. I’m really pleased and proud of the whole squad.

“We’ve got two weeks off now but when we get back in that’s when the hard work starts. All of us will be competing for a place now, there’s 16 seats on the plane to Tokyo which we know we’re going to, so the hard work starts now.”

For Draper’s GB men ‘s squad, Alan Forsyth hit a hat-trick and Sam Ward scored twice in an emphatic victory.

Forsyth said: “I don’t want to look back and be disappointed but I use not being selected for Rio as motivation every day.

“I missed one Olympics and I don’t want to miss another. I know we’ve qualified but I’ve got a lot of work to do to make sure I’m in the team for Tokyo.”


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