Know about India’s Olympic Hockey Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar: The Indian men’s Hockey team will take on Russia, while their female counterparts will play against the USA in the two-legged Olympic qualifiers at the iconic Kalinga stadium here in Odisha on Friday and Saturday.
Both the Indian teams will play back-to-back matches against Russia and USA today and tomorrow and the aggregate winners at the end of the two-match qualifier (each for men and women) will seal their places in the 2020 Tokyo Games.
While the Manpreet Singh-led men’s team which is ranked 5th, is up against world number 22 Russia, the 9th ranked Indian women will face America, ranked 13th, in the final round of the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
India had made it to the final stage of the Olympic qualifiers by winning the FIH Series Finals in Bhubaneswar (men’s) and in Hiroshima (women’s) earlier this year.
The new qualifying format introduced by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) involves 28 teams — 14 men and 14 women teams — playing in seven qualifying events each, the draw for which happened in September this year.