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India face Diminished Russia, Girls up against Catchy USA in hockey Olympic qualifiers

Last updated on September 9, 2019

The Indian men’s hockey team has a simple path to 2020 Tokyo Olympics using a two-match qualifier against Russia, the lowest-rated team from the fray. From the draw conducted in the FIH headquarters in Lausanne on Monday, world No. 5 India prevented a battle against arch-rivals Pakistan and brought Russia, ranked 22 on earth.

The women’s group, however, attracted a catchy opponent in the united states. Though the USA is rated 13th in contrast to India’s 9th in the world ranks, they might nevertheless prove a few for Sjoerd Marijne’s squad.

Both Indian clubs will play in the home in the Kalinga Stadium at Bhubaneswar on November 1-2. The qualifiers include 2 back-to-back matches along with also the teams aggregating the most targets will clinch a berth to 2020 Tokyo Olympics, linking the four continental champions and hosts Japan to compose the area of 12 teams to its July 25-August 7 contest to be held in the Oi Hockey Arena in Tokyo.

For the attraction, the India men’s group was placed in Pot 1 combined with European giants that the Netherlands and Germany and were to confront a team from Pot 4, which included Pakistan, Austria, and Russia, that came to the attraction after Egypt withdrew from the competition at the last minute.

That made real a chance of India running into Pakistan, a game that could have been a challenging proposal for Graham Reid’s team despite the current domination from Pakistan, was unbeaten in 11 consecutive matches.

As fortune would have it, India drew Russia while Pakistan was pitted against world No 3 the Netherlands and will travel to Amsterdam to both games together with the Dutch on October 26-27.

India had played Russia in June at Bhubaneswar, winning 10-0 at FIH Collection Finals. But, Russia had conquered Uzbekistan and Poland at the league stage and also had given South Africa a difficult fight from the knock-out matches.

Can not be complacent, States Manpreet.

Though he’d be happy for apparent reasons, skipper Manpreet Singh stated they could not take Russia softly.

“The weather in June was hard for them; however, it might not be exactly the exact same situation this time (in November). I am certain that they will come well prepared because it is the Olympic Qualifiers and they’re effective at surprising any group,” Manpreet was quoted as stating at a Hockey India release.

Coach Reid’s focus is on the coming off test series against world # 2 Belgium later this month. “I think training and playing some of the finest (Belgium) on earth will provide us a fantastic platform to the qualifier,” he explained.

“We’ve assembled some fantastic momentum with this young squad, and I’m happy with how concentrated this unit was. They’re committed to attaining the Olympic Qualifications, and in that pursuit, we are still focused on enhancing our defense and functioning on generating quality opportunities in the circle in This continuing camp,” stated Reid

Tricky competition for girls

USA may be a tricky opponent, having played against top teams at the FIH Guru League at 2019. They’ve consistently done well against India. India and USA had last clashed from the 2018 World Cup if India came back from a goal down to maintain USA 1-1 and progress to the play-offs.

“The group has been doing well in the past couple of months. We’ve gained momentum at the Perfect time by winning the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019 along with the Olympic Test Event. Each of the players is convinced, really excited to get involved in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in your home and they’re billed up to get the team’s purpose. We’re focusing on continuing the communication on the area and preserve our level of functionality,” said women’s hockey team trainer Marijne.



October 25-26: Australia v Russia, Perth

October 25-26: China v Belgium, Changzhou

October 25-26: Spain v Korea, Valencia

November 1-2: India v USA, Bhubaneswar

November 2-3: Germany v Italy, Mönchengladbach

November 2-3: Great Britain v Chile, London

November 2-3: Ireland v Canada, Dublin