The Dutch women will defend their Olympic hockey title at Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES

With the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on the horizon, we look at how the 12 teams - including reigning champions Netherlands - booked their place in the women's hockey tournament.

The Dutch women have made the last five Olympic finals and were victorious at Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Tokyo 2020 three years ago. Eleven teams will be trying to stop them winning a fourth Olympic gold in five Games. The holders are among six European representatives with Japan, China, United States, South Africa, Australia and Argentina completing the line-up.

The 12 have been split into two pools with hosts France in Pool A alongside Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Japan and China. Pool B consists of Australia, Argentina, Great Britain, Spain, USA and South Africa. The top four teams in each pool will progress to the quarter-finals.

Pool A

Netherlands - The reigning Olympic and world champions maintained their dominance by winning a fourth consecutive EuroHockey Championships 2023 in Moechengladbach, Germany. That secured them a direct spot at Paris 2024 as continental champions.

Belgium - The Red Panthers lost out to Netherlands in the final of the EuroHockey Championships 2023. That saw them go to the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Valencia and they were unbeaten on Spain's Costa Blanca to book a first Olympic appearance since their debut at London 2012.

Germany - Germany took bronze on home soil at the EuroHockey Championships 2023 and had to play in the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Ranchi. Die Danas won all their matches, including a tense shoot-out win over hosts India in the semi-finals, to secure their place at Paris 2024.

Japan - Japan finished fourth in the Asian Games 2023 and went to the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Ranchi. Defeat to USA in the semi-finals set up a clash with hosts India for the final Olympic berth. A closely-fought victory in the bronze medal match secured their spot in the French capital. 

China - A stellar campaign in last October's Asian Games 2022, on home soil in Hangzhou, saw China win all their matches and qualify for Paris 2024 as continental champions of Asia.

France - France qualified for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 as hosts. 

Pool B

Australia - Australia will make their 11th straight Olympic appearance after winning the Oceania Cup 2023. That saw the Hockeyroos qualify directly for Paris 2024 as continental champions from Oceania.

Argentina - Argentina will also make an 11th consecutive Olympic appearance as they bid to add a first gold to their six medals at the last seven Games. Las Leonas booked their place in Paris by winning gold at the Pan American Games 2023.

Great Britain - Great Britain qualified by finishing third at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Valencia, Spain. The Rio 2016 gold medallists edged out Ireland 2-1 in the bronze medal match to secure a spot in Paris, where they will try to make a fourth consecutive trip to the podium.

Spain - Sixth place at the EuroHockey Championships 2023 sent Spain into the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Valencia. Receiving massive home support, Spain made it to the final to book their place in Paris before suffering a narrow defeat to Belgium.

United States - USA's women make their return to the Olympics after missing Tokyo. Under new head coach David Passmore, the Americans beat Japan in the semi-finals of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Ranchi, India to qualify for Paris. Germany proved too strong in the final, but Passmore's squad goes to France seeking a first medal since taking bronze at Los Angeles 1984.

South Africa - South Africa join Argentina and Australia as the third team to be placed in Pool B as direct qualifiers from the continental championships. South Africa won gold at the β€˜African Hockey Road to Paris 2024’ and will play in a sixth women’s hockey Olympic tournament.