KAKAMIGAHARA, GIFU PREF. – Japan earned its third consecutive Olympic berth in women’s hockey by beating Azerbaijan 5-1 in the final of the last world qualifying tournament Saturday.
Japan, ranked ninth in the world, took a commanding 4-0 lead by halftime against 15th-ranked Azerbaijan at Green Stadium.
Rika Komazawa and Akane Shibata scored two goals apiece for Japan.
In the previous two Olympics, the Japanese women’s hockey team finished eighth in Athens and 10th in Beijing.
On Sunday in the men’s final, Japan will take on South Africa for its first Olympic appearance since the 1968 Mexico Games.