Indian men and women to make debut at Youth Olympic Games hockey event

Sports Reporter
Friday, 10 August 2018

Factbox: Youth Olympics Hockey

  • In the Qualifiers held in Bangkok, the Junior Men’s team had attained qualification by remaining undefeated throughout their campaign. The team played a total of four Pool matches which saw them win 25-0 against Thailand, 6-2 against Japan, 21-0 against Hong Kong and 12-5 against South Korea, qualify for the Semi-finals where they overcame Bangladesh 9-2.
  • The Final match was played against a strong Malaysian team where India came out on top in the Shootout (2-1) after the scores had remained 4-4 after the end of the regulation time.
  • Junior Women’s too had good outing in Thailand as they finished second behind China. The young team won all three of their Pool matches, beating Singapore 14-0, South Korea 10-0 and hosts Thailand 9-0 to progress to the Semi-final where they defeated Malaysia 4-2. However, in the Final match, the Indian team could not overcome China’s challenge as they lost 1-4.
  • The schedule of the competition is yet to be announced by the Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee.

Pune: Youth men and women teams from India are set to make debut at the October 7-14 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Wednesday announced in Lausanne the qualified nations for the quadrennial youth extravaganza with 12 teams including the host, Argentina, featuring in the list.

The hockey competition will be in Hockey5s format, essentially 5-a-side hockey to be played at the Youth Olympic Park in Buenos Aires.

In the women’s event, hosts Argentina will be joined by Australia, Austria, China, India, Mexico, Namibia, Poland, South Africa, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe.

The men’s event will see Argentina welcome Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Vanuatu and Zambia.

The confirmation of these teams follows the conclusion of all continental qualifying events, the last being the African Youth Games, which concluded on July 28.

Thereafter, each qualified National Olympic Committee (NOC) was invited to send a Hockey5s team to the event in Buenos Aires. As NOCs are only allowed to send one team sport, the FIH had to wait on confirmation before publishing the official list of qualified nations.

Besides India, the countries who would make their first presence at Youth Olympics are Argentina, Austria, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland and Vanuatu in the men’s event. Australia, Austria, India, Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Zimbabwe will make their debut in the women’s competition.

All of the teams will have different squads to the ones that participated four years ago in Nanjing 2014, the medallists Australia (gold) and Canada (silver) in men; and China (gold) and Argentina (bronze) women will be hoping to add to their Hockey5s success.

“This is going to be a fascinating event, combining raw talent with great potential. The Youth Olympic Games are a fantastic opportunity for the world to see the future of our sport, whilst also giving these athletes the first taste of Olympism. We can’t wait to get underway in Buenos Aires this coming October,” said FIH CEO Thierry Weil.

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