Chloe has China in her hands

PUBLISHED: 16:06 30 August 2007 | UPDATED: 21:48 29 May 2010

England qualify for Olympics

England qualify for Olympics

Beijing awaits Chloe Rogers after she helped the England Ladies Hockey Team, on behalf of Great Britain, clinch a place at the 2008 Olympics at the EuroHockey Nations Championships. The host country had victories over Ireland and Italy and narrow defeats

Beijing awaits Chloe Rogers after she helped the England Ladies Hockey Team, on behalf of Great Britain, clinch a place at the 2008 Olympics at the EuroHockey Nations Championships.

The host country had victories over Ireland and Italy and narrow defeats to Holland and Germany at the event where the top three countries qualified for the 2008 Olympics.

Chloe, from Barnston, then starred as England defeated Spain 3-2 to take the bronze medal and the last qualifying spot.

England put in a strong performance to overcome a spirited Spanish fight back on Saturday, in front of a passionate home crowd in Manchester.

Chloe, 22, was delighted with England's achievement. "It was awesome to qualify and the tournament was a great experience," she said.

"There was both relief and excitement after the Spain game. Relief at the time as we didn't qualify for Athens, but now there is real excitement and we are starting to think about Beijing.

"It was a very good tournament for us. We stuck to our main aims and achieved what we had to.

"It was so important to us as the Olympics is the biggest event in amateur sport. It's always been a dream of mine since I was a kid to make the Olympics and I just hope I'm selected now."

The hosts started the bronze medal play-off game strongly and took the lead through Mel Clewlow, following a penalty corner.

England doubled their advantage after 24 minutes when Crista Cullen fired a penalty corner just inside the post at the second attempt, following good work from Cathy Gilliat-Smith and Jo Ellis.

The home side continued to dominate in the second half and a clever dummy by Clewlow gave Cullen the time and space she needed to power home another penalty corner at the near post, increasing the advantage.

Spain started to come back into the game and pulled two goals back, but England held firm to book their place on the plane to China.

"We dominated the first half and it was going well but they stepped it up and fought back well," said Chloe, who plays for Chelmsford.

"They clawed two goals back, their second with one minute to go making for a nervy ending. They got a penalty corner at the end, but we managed to put it wide and the celebrations began."

Chloe feels playing in front of the home crowd in Manchester really helped the side.

"Everyone put on a brilliant show and it was a superb tournament," said Chloe. "The atmosphere was superb and we had the Pukka Pies band behind us who usually follow the men's football team, and it definitely helped."

Despite some good performances at the tournament, Chloe won't be taking her place in the squad for granted, with the England side now joining together with Scotland and Wales to form a Great British team for tours in Argentina and Australia.

"I felt I did okay and was reasonably happy, but there's a long way to go before the tournament and a lot of tours to come," she said.

"A lot can happen in 11 months but fingers crossed I'll be in the squad.

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