Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Seongnam Stadium, Seongnam
Date Started: September 21, 1988
Date Finished: September 30, 1988
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to classification round matches.
The dominant country of the 1980s had been the Dutch. They had won the 1983 and 1986 World Championships, the 1984 Olympics, the inaugural women's Champions Trophy (1987) as well as the 1984 and 1987 European Championships. Hence, their semi-final berth was all but surprising. Their opponent, Australia, had struggled in the pool, drawing against Canada and South Korea, but beating the world's number two - West Germany. In the their match against the Netherlands, they showed great form and deservedly beat the defending champions 3-2. The other challenger for the gold was also a surprise. Host nation South Korea had little background in hockey - never having participated in the World Championships - but built a top team from the ground up for the Seoul Olympics. A third place at the 1987 Champions Trophy signalled their rising power, which was displayed by a crushing defeat of West Germany (4-1) in their first Olympic match. In the final, the home team couldn't go all the way. The Australians, coached by two-time medallist Brian Glencross, beat them soundly 2-0, leaving the South Koreans crying on the pitch.