India: One Week to Go: Excitement looms large as battle for Paris Olympics gains momentum

~Home team India hopes to make historic third consecutive qualification for the prestigious Summer Olympic Games~ 

Ranchi, 5th January 2024: With only a week left for the start of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Ranchi 2024, the excitement among hockey fans looms large as teams vie to make the top 3 position in order to book a berth for Paris Olympic Games 2024. The teams in the fray include Germany, Japan, Chile and Czech Republic grouped in pool A while hosts India are grouped in pool B along with United States, New Zealand and Italy.

The venue Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Astro Turf is abuzz with activities, with participating teams trinkling into the city and testing their mettle on the ground that recently hosted the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy where Savita-led India bagged the top honours.  

Carrying forward the confidence from that event, India are geared up to give it their all in the do-or-die tournament. Captain Savita elaborates, “The team is motivated, particularly after winning the Asian Champions Trophy. Our preparations have been earnest and the team consists of players who have played the Olympic Qualifiers in the past and understand very well the level of performance needed to make the cut. This is a do-or-die outing for us and we are ready for the challenge.” 

Adding to Savita’s views, Vice Captain Nikki Pradhan who belongs to Jharkhand said, “Every member of the team wants to participate in the Olympic Games. That is the ultimate dream and after arriving in Ranchi earlier this week, we have got some good training sessions in the ground. There is a lot of excitement not just among the team members but among the hockey fans in Jharkhand who I am sure will turn up in large numbers to show their support for us.” 

The Indian Team will take on United States in their opening match on 13th January, followed by a match against New Zealand on 14th January. After a day’s rest, India will play Italy on 16th January while the Semi Finals will be held on 18th and the Final on 19th January. Top 3 teams from the tournament will earn their ticket to Paris Olympic Games.  

Matches will be live on Sports18 / Jio Cinema.

By Hockey India

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