TOKYO (AP) South Africa earned the 12th and last berth in the Olympic men's field hockey tournament by beating Japan 2-1 Sunday in the final of the qualifying competition.
Japan's men's team was bidding for its first Olympic slot in 44 years. The Japanese women qualified Saturday with a 5-1 win over Azerbaijan.
South Africa entered the tournament as the top-seeded team. It secured its third straight appearance at the Olympics.
The origins of field hockey date as far back as the 4th century B.C., but it's unlikely those players foresaw the fast-paced, physical game it would ultimately turn into 2,400 years later, played by both men and women. Become acquainted with the layout of the pitch, the basics of the sport and the equipment used by its players while walking through the history of a game that has recently transitioned to bigger and quicker athletes - and an even quicker field.
- See all the interactives