- Squads for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers were announced.
- Manpreet Singh will lead the men's team while Rani Rampal will be leading the women's team.
- The men's team will be facing Russia, while women's team will be facing USA
The 18-man Indian men’s hockey squad for the FIH Olympic qualifiers held at the Kalinga Stadium, Odisha has been announced. India will take on Russia in the qualifier with Manpreet Singh leading the Indian team and SV Sunil as the vice-captain.
Indian Women’s hockey team has announced an unchanged squad for their qualifiers. Rani Rampal will be leading the women’s team.
The qualifiers squad
The men’s team recently won a gold medal at the FIH Series by defeating South Africa 5-1. The matches were held in Bhubaneshwar and ensured the Indian squad of a qualification spot for the Olympics. The hockey qualifiers will be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Odisha where India, which is ranked no.5, will be facing Russia who is ranked no.22.
“After a good preparation tour in Belgium, it was always going to be a very difficult decision to pick the best 18 players for this tournament. We have chosen a well-balanced side with a number of good flexible options. We now need to focus on strategies against Russia, and ensure we are at our best when we step onto the field on 1st and 2nd November.” Indian men’s coach Graham Reid said.
The men’s team has a total of 11 medals at the Olympics, with 8 gold medals 2 silvers and one bronze. They had dominated the early 20th century Olympics hockey games, as their best run of continuous gold medals came from 1928 to 1956.
Indian men’s squad for the Olympic qualifiers;
The coolest friends list you'll ever come across! ?
A look at the 18-Member Indian Men's Hockey Team that will face Team Russia in the @FIH_Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha at the Kalinga Stadium! ??#IndiaKaGame #RoadToTokyo #Tokyo2020 #GiftOfHockey #KalingaKalling pic.twitter.com/Cms1abcXSD
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 18, 2019-- Advertisement --
Also participating for the qualifiers, the women’s team which is ranked no.9, will be facing the USA who is ranked no.13.
“We have retained the 18-member team from our preparatory tour of England. We have a good balance and mixture of players in the squad and keeping in mind our objective of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics 2020, I feel it is important to stay in the rhythm with the same players who performed well in the preparatory tour. We now focus on making sure that we leave no stone unturned when we take on the USA in the two matches,” said the Women’s Hockey Coach Sjoerd Marijne.
Indian Woman’s squad for the Olympic qualifiers;
Keep your friends close, but the 18-Member Squad for the Indian Women's Hockey Team closer! ?
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 18, 2019
The games will be played in 2 legs. A win would give the team 3 points, and a draw will give them each 1 point. However, if their points are still equal, then the winner will be determined based on the goal difference.
We wish both the men’s and women’s team the very best of luck. Chak De India!!