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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
England's hockey teams both win
Helen Richardson
Richardson celebrates her second goal against Italy
England's men's and women's teams moved closer to Olympic qualification with comfortable victories at the EuroHockey Nations Championship on Monday.

The men thrashed the Czech Republic 7-0 with Richard Mantell scoring a hat-trick and Barry Middleton grabbing a couple of goals.

Earlier, England's women thumped Italy 4-0 with goals from Helen Richardson (2), Mel Clewlow and Rachel Walker.

The top three men's and women's teams in Manchester qualify for Beijing.

606: CREATE
BBC Essex's Oliver Rogers behind the scenes in Manchester

Matt Daly and Martin Jones were also on target for England's men, who drew their opening match against Belgium.

That result against Belgium means they now face a huge match against top side Germany on Wednesday (1900 BST).

England must draw to earn a place in the semi-finals ahead of Belgium (who they must assume will beat the Czechs) and keep qualification hopes alive.

England's women are in a far more comfortable position having already guaranteed a spot in Thursday's semis - where they are likely to face either Germany or Spain - following two comfortable group wins.

That means they get two chances to win an Olympic berth. If they win the semi-final they will be into Saturday's gold medal play-off and definitely qualify for Beijing.

If they lose the semi-final they will be into the bronze medal play-off - and a win there would also see them qualify.

First they get to test themselves against world champions, the Netherlands, to see who finishes top of the group, in Tuesday evening's dead rubber.



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