As the ongoing FIH Pro League tournament sets the stage for what could unfold in Paris come July, anticipation surges in field hockey communities around the world. Here's a look at some of the top field hockey storylines that have emerged since the Tokyo Olympics. 

The U.S. women are Paris bound

The American women are headed back to the Olympics after failing to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games, which were held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heading into the FIH Women’s Hockey Olympic Qualifier, the Americans were ranked No. 12 in the world and were not necessarily among the favorites to advance. However, the U.S. women were relentless in pursuit of a spot in Paris, upsetting sixth-ranked host nation India 1-0. Ironically, it was India who knocked the Americans out of the last Games with a 6-5 win in the final qualification opportunity for Tokyo.

After earning two more shutout wins over Italy and New Zealand, the Americans situated themselves in a position to qualify for Paris with a win over Japan in the semifinals. 

After the U.S. surrendered its first goal of the tournament in the third quarter against Japan, Ashley Hoffman tied the game in the fourth quarter. Abby Tamer scored the game-winning goal to secure Olympic inclusion for the American women. 

Dutch Domination

The Netherlands is poised to have a successful run in Paris with plenty of international success on both the men’s and women’s side since the Tokyo Olympics. 

The men, who finished sixth at the Tokyo Olympics, went back-to-back at the FIH Pro League tournament, defending its 2021-22 title with a win once again in 2022-23. The Dutch men currently rank first in the 2023-24 tournament, led by Jip Janssen who has scored the most goals (12) of any player in the tournament. The Dutch men’s team also went back-to-back at the EuroHockey Championships, securing a berth for the Paris Olympics in August 2023. 

The women, who claimed gold in Tokyo, have won three of the last four FIH Pro League titles — including in 2022-23 — and currently lead the 2023-24 tournament. Yibbi Jansen is the top scorer with 15 goals. The Dutch women’s team won a record ninth FIH World Cup in 2022 and its fourth consecutive EuroHockey title in 2023. 

Argentina golden again at the Pan American Games

Argentina continued its dominance in women’s field hockey at the Pan American Games, winning its eighth gold medal with a 2-1 win over the United States in Santiago, Chile on Nov. 4, 2023. Argentina has played in 10 consecutive gold-medal matches, with Eugenia Trinchinetti scoring the game-winning goal in Chile to secure an Olympic berth for Paris 2024. Argentina, the silver-medalists from Tokyo, will be looking for its first Olympic gold medal in Paris.