The International Hockey Federation (FIH) today announced the schedule of matches for both men and women for the ensuing Tokyo Olympic Games. India has been drawn to play New Zealand in its opening game while in the women’s section, it will be India versus the Netherlands. Both these games are scheduled for July 24, 2021, the opening day of the hockey competition.
The FIH in its release said that following the one-year postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic, it can today confirm the match schedule for the men’s and women’s hockey competitions of the XXXII Olympiad.
The hockey event was originally scheduled to run from Saturday 25 July until Friday 7 August 2020, with matches being played at the purpose-built Oi Hockey Stadium in Japan’s capital city. Although nothing has changed in terms of the location and overall running order of the matches, the Olympic hockey competitions will now start on Saturday 24 July and conclude on Friday 6 August 2021.
In line with what was planned for this year, the opening match of next year’s Olympic Games will be contested between the men of Japan and Australia, with the host nation a facing stern test from the 2019 FIH Hockey Pro League champions - Olympic gold medallists at Athens 2004 - on 24 July (09:30 local time). The opening match of the women’s tournament will be played on the same day, with reigning world champions and current world number one the Netherlands - Olympic champions in 1984, 2008 and 2012 - taking on India (20:45 local time).
The men’s and women’s gold medal matches will take place on 5 and 6 August respectively. The announcement was made in Tokyo at a special press briefing held by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee on Friday (17 July), which revealed the complete Olympic Competition Schedule for every sport being played at next year’s mammoth multi-sport event.
Indian men will play New Zealand (July 24), Australia (July 25), Spain (July 27), Argentina (July 29) and Japan (July 30) while Indian women will take on the Netherlands (July 24), Germany (July 26), Great Britain (July 28), Irelands (July 30) and South Africa (July 31).
As revealed in November 2019, the pools for the Olympic hockey competitions – the composition of which was determined by the same process as was applied for the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
Pool A: Australia, Argentina, India, Spain, New Zealand, Japan
Pool B: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, South Africa
Pool A: Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, India, South Africa
Pool B: Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, China, Japan