The Indian men’s hockey team find themselves in the middle of an easy draw in the final round of the Toky Olympics, while the women’s team suffered a tricky draw. The draws, which were out tody, saw the men’s hockey team being pitted against a lower-ranked Russia and the women placed against the USA.
Eight-time Olympic champions, the Indian men’s hockey team are currently placed at the fifth position in the rankings. Thus, many consider their draw against Russia, who are placed 22nd, as an easy one. The women’s team, on the other hand, are ranked ninth, while their opponents USA are the 13th ranked women’s hockey team in the world.
Despite the ranking superiority, the match against the USA would not be a cakewalk for the Indian women. Last time both the teams had met, the American women had given them a tough fight. The Women’s World Cup match in London, last year, had ended in a 1-1 draw.
The draw will see the teams playing each other twice to earn their spot for next year’s Olympic in Japan’s capital. The Indian men’s team chief coach Graham Reid sounded confident about qualifying for the big-ticket event. The women’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, too, had the tone of optimism in her voice after the draws were made.
“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,” Marijne was quoted by PTI.