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India men to play Russia, women face US

The Indian males’s hockey group will tackle Russia whereas the ladies’s aspect will conflict with the US within the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers scheduled to be held as a two-match collection between October 27 and November 3.

Each the lads’s and ladies’s groups are more likely to play their qualifiers in Bhubaneswar.

The draw for the two-legged qualifiers was held in Lausanne on Monday.

In a beneficial draw, India’s males’s hockey group was on Monday pitted in opposition to lower-ranked Russia whereas the ladies’s group drew a tough USA within the last spherical of the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers.

Eight-time Olympic champions India are ranked 5 on the earth whereas the Russians are positioned 22 within the FIH world rankings. India had mauled Russia 10-Zero throughout the FIH Collection Last in Bhubaneswar earlier this 12 months.

The ladies American group is positioned 4 locations under India (ranked 9) it will not be a cake stroll for the Rani Rampal-led aspect after they take the sphere for the FIH Olympic qualifiers in October-November this 12 months.

The Indian ladies had performed out a hard-fought 1-1 draw in opposition to USA of their final assembly on the Ladies’s World Cup in London final 12 months.

The nations will compete in two back-to-back matches to seal their tickets for the Tokyo Video games.

The Indian males’s hockey group 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 ladies’s hockey group’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne too sounded optimistic about their probabilities.

“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 ladies’s group will play a five-match collection in opposition to 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 in opposition to Malaysia, Spain have drawn France, New Zealand will play Korea and Canada have been pitted in opposition to Ireland.

Within the ladies’s part, Australia will play Russia, Germany will lock horns with Italy, Nice Britain are up in opposition to Chile, Spain have drawn Korea, Ireland will face Canada and China are slated to fulfill Belgium.

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