Lausanne (Switzerland): In a beneficial draw, India’s males’s hockey crew was on Monday pitted towards lower-ranked Russia whereas the ladies’s crew drew a tough USA within the ultimate spherical of the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers.
The groups will compete in two back-to-back matches to make it to the Tokyo Video games. The boys’s crew will compete on November 1-2 whereas the ladies’s crew will tackle the American aspect on November 2-Three in Bhubaneswar.
Eight-time Olympic champions India are ranked 5 on the planet whereas the Russians are positioned 22 within the FIH world rankings. India had mauled Russia 10-Zero in the course of the FIH Collection Closing in Bhubaneswar earlier this yr.
The ladies American crew is positioned 4 locations beneath India (ranked 9) it received’t be a cake stroll for the Rani Rampal-led aspect after they take the sector for the FIH Olympic qualifiers.
The Indian girls had performed out a hard-fought 1-1 draw towards USA of their final assembly on the Girls’s World Cup in London final yr.
The Indian males’s hockey crew chief coach Graham Reid mentioned they’re assured of qualifying for the big-ticket occasion.
“We are committed to achieving the Olympic qualification and in that pursuit we continue to emphasise on improving our defence. I believe training and playing against some of the best teams of the world will give us a good platform for the qualifiers,” Reid mentioned.
The Indian girls’s hockey crew’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne too sounded optimistic about their possibilities.
“The team has been performing well in the last few months. All the players are confident, very excited to take part in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers at home and they are charged up to achieve the team’s goal,” mentioned Marijne.
As a part of preparation for the Qualifiers, the Indian girls’s crew will play a five-match collection towards England this month.
“I’ve always believed that the opponent we play does not matter as long as we are better prepared and that’s been our focus,” mentioned Rani Rampal
“We knew the areas we had to work on to be in the best form to play two back-to-back matches and we are working towards winning them.”
Amongst different FIH Olympic matches within the males’s part, Netherlands will host Pakistan, Germany will play Russia, Nice Britain are up towards Malaysia, Spain have drawn France, New Zealand will play Korea and Canada have been pitted towards Eire.
Within the girls’s part, Australia will play Russia, Germany will lock horns with Italy, Nice Britain are up towards Chile, Spain have drawn Korea, Eire will face Canada and China are slated to satisfy Belgium.