Bhubaneswar: The Indian men’s team will look to book their spots at the Tokyo Olympic Games when they take part in the Olympic qualifiers November 1 and 2 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium. World No. 5 Indian are scheduled to play World No. 22 Russia
The winners of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha will qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The winners will be determined as follows: teams will be ranked according to the number of points each has accumulated in both matches (for each match, 3 points are awarded to the winner, 1 point to each team in the event of a draw and 0 point to the loser).
If there is equality among the two teams, then the teams will be ranked according to their respective goal difference. If the equality remains, a shoot-out competition will be played to establish the winner. Therefore, the objective of both the teams will be to secure direct qualification for the Tokyo 2020 hockey tournaments – which will be staged in Japan’s capital city from 25 July to 7 August next year and involve 12 Men’s and 12 Women’s teams.
Speaking ahead of the two important matches, Indian men’s captain Manpreet Singh said, “We are well-prepared for this tournament. We are not concerned about the disparity in world ranking. For us, every match we play is like we are playing against World Champions. We have suffered in the past due to over confidence and we will not let that happen this time.”
Russian team Coach Valdimir Konkin, on the other hand said, “We are ranked lower than India but in our hearts and in our mind, we are ranked higher and we will really fight till the last minute. We are definitely prepared to play better than what we did during the FIH Series Final.”