FIH Hockey5s: South Africa’s historic run culminates in fourth-place glory


In a display of resilience and determination, the South African Hockey5s Women etched their names in history at the FIH Hockey5s World Cup in Muscat, Oman, on Saturday, 27 January, 2024. With a hard-fought battle for the Bronze medal against Poland, the South Africans showcased their prowess on the global stage.

The match began with a formidable Polish offense, and it wasn’t long before striker Amelia Katerla capitalized on a momentary lapse in the South African defense, instinctively scoring the opening goal. Katerla continued to haunt the South African team, doubling the score with another precise strike. However, the umpires’ decision to disallow a third goal gave the South Africans a glimmer of hope as they headed into halftime trailing 2-0.

The second half saw Katerla completing her hat-trick, further extending Poland’s lead. Despite the adversity, South Africa found a beacon of hope when Dirkie Chamberlain, with great support from Izelle Cilliers, netted a crucial goal. The comeback, however, fell short as Katerla continued her stellar performance, and despite Toni Marks adding a consolation goal, South Africa had to settle for the bittersweet taste of fourth place.

Although falling short of the podium, the South African team’s journey to the top 4 marked a historic achievement, surpassing any previous records in the nation’s hockey history. The players showcased skill, tenacity, and a never-say-die attitude throughout the tournament, earning the respect and admiration of fans worldwide.

In the tournament’s final, the Netherlands secured the maiden title with a convincing victory over India, solidifying their dominance in women’s hockey. While South Africa may have missed the podium, their fourth-place finish signifies a remarkable milestone, setting the stage for future aspirations and establishing a legacy in the annals of South African hockey history.

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