Home Sports Hockey Team India all set for Olympic Qualifiers | FIH Series Finals Preview

Team India all set for Olympic Qualifiers | FIH Series Finals Preview

The FIH Series Finals will mark the start of a new chapter for the Indian men’s hockey team with the recently-appointed chief coach Graham Reid in charge.

The competition will also be the perfect opportunity for both the men’s and women’s teams to make important inroads from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics point of view. The FIH Series Finals begins in Bhubaneswar on Thursday and will be played between 6-15 June.

As many as 8 teams from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America will be in the fray for capturing the two places in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers on offer. The qualifiers is scheduled to held between October-November later this year.

India – The Overwhelming Favourites

For the men’s team, the road seems to be a straightforward one, being the top ranked team in the tournament.

The fifth placed Indians’ closest opponents are South Africa at 16 followed by Japan at 18 in terms of rankings.

Besides these, other participating teams include Poland, Russia, Uzbekistan, USA and Mexico.

The opening fixture against minnows Russia should be a winnable encounter. The group other games against Poland and Uzbekistan would not be tough as well.

However, it is the knock-out jitters – as has been seen in the past- that the team needs to overcome. After topping the groups in 2018 World Cup, the Men in Blue fell out in the Knockouts. Indian team also lost out out in the semifinals of the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games which was arguably the best chance of qualifying for the Olympics.

2020 Tokyo Olympics Qualification Dynamics

There will be as many as 12 teams featuring in the sporting extravaganza. These include 1 for the host (which hands Japan an automatic qualification), 5 for the champions of Asia, Africa, PanAmerica, Europe and Oceania, apart from 6 for the teams coming through Olympic Qualifiers. Thus, the Qualifiers is the only option for the men’s team to qualify for the Olympics.

In order to reach there, the team would have to reach at least to the final of the FIH Series Finals in Bhubaneswar and Hiroshima.

FIH Series Finals Schedule

  1. June 6, Thursday – Pool A – India vs Russia – 7pm

2. June 7, Friday – Pool A – India vs Poland – 7pm

3. June 10, Monday – Pool A – India vs Uzbekistan – 7pm

June 12, Wednesday

– Cross-over 1 (C1) – 2nd Pool A vs 3rd Pool B – 5pm

– Cross-over 2 (C2) – 2nd Pool B vs 2nd Pool A – 7.15pm

– For 7th/8th place – 4th Pool A vs 4th Pool B – 8.45pm

Knock Out Stages: June 14, Friday

– Semifinal 1 – 1st Pool A vs Winner of C2  – 5pm

– Semifinal 2 – 1st Pool B vs Winner of C1 – 7.15pm

– For 5th/6th place – Loser of C1 vs Lose or C2 – 8.45pm

June 15, Saturday – Final – 7.15pm

– 3rd//4th place match – 5 pm

Schedule for Women’s Series Finals, Hiroshima (Timings in IST)

  1. June 15, Saturday – Pool A – India vs Uruguay – 2.30pm

2. June 16, Sunday – Pool A – India vs Poland – 2.30pm

3. June 18, Tuesday – Pool A – India vs Fiji – 10.30am

June 20, Thursday

– Cross-over 1 (C1) – 2nd Pool A vs 3rd Pool B – 12.15pm

– Cross-over 2 (C2) – 2nd Pool B vs 2nd Pool A – 2.30pm

June 21, Friday

– For 7th/8th place – 4th Pool A vs 4th Pool B – 12.15pm

– For 5th/6th place – Loser of C1 vs Lose or C2 – 2.30pm

Knockout Stage: June 22, Saturday

Semifinal 1 – 1st Pool A vs Winner of C2  – 12.15pm

Semifinal 2 – 1st Pool B vs Winner of C1 – 2.30pm

Final – June 23, Sunday – 2.30 pm

3rd//4th place match – 12.15p

Monish Gadiya
Monish Gadiya is the editor of KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes that innovation is the answer to all the problems prevalent in the society. Monish graduated from University of Pune with a degree in civil engineering before pursuing a post-graduate diploma course in intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.

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