Indian men to play In Bhubaneswar and women at Hiroshima for Olympic Qualifiers
India has been clubbed with Asian Games champions Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, USA and Uzbekistan in men’s section and with Chile, Fiji, Asian Games champions Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia and Uruguay in the women’s section in the FIH Series finals to be played during April -June this year to decide the teams that will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers.
The Olympic qualifiers will feature teams that finish among top two in each of these FIH Series finals..
These FIH Series tournaments will run in addition to the FIH Pro League that got underway at Valencia on January 19 and will also continue till end of June.
While the FIH Series finals featuring India’s group in men’s section will be held at Bhubaneswar from June 6 to 16, Indian women’s hockey team will travel to Hiroshima (Japan) from June 15 to 23 to decide the Olympic qualifier berths.
After the completion of the last Hockey Series Open in December, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has now confirmed the composition of the pools for the six exciting FIH Series Finals scheduled between April and June this year.
Three pools of eight teams each for women as well as for men will compete in these events which will involve some of the best teams in the world. In fact, no less than 14 teams qualified for the FIH Series Finals played either at the Women or the Men’s World Cups last year. Canada, China, France, India, Ireland, Malaysia and South Africa all competed at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 last month, while India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, South Africa and Spain were in England last summer for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018.
Since India ended with Silver medal in women’s section and bronze in men’s section in the 2018 Asian Games, it could not get a direct entry to the Olympic Games. Interestingly, Japan, winner of gold medals in both men and women sections in the Asian Games, is playing in the FIH Series finals.
Japan, in fact, has its double entry confirmed for the Tokyo Olympic Games, both as a host as well as the champions of the Continental Games.
The FIH Series Finals are one of the roads to reach the Olympic Games. Indeed, the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals will secure a place in the Qualification events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which will be held in October and November 2019.(*)
FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: “We can’t wait to see the FIH Series Finals to be played. The line-up of teams is quite impressive and the ‘road to Tokyo’ is at stake, which makes these six events even more attractive.”
The FIH today clarified that if Japan, Scotland or Wales finish in the top 2 of their respective pools, they will not secure a place in the Olympic Games Qualifiers. Japan have already qualified as both host and winners of the Asian Games; for Scotland and Wales, the reason is that England are the nominated country for GBR’s qualification pathway. If any of these three teams do finish in the top 2, the team that finishes third does not automatically qualify for the Olympic Games Qualifiers. Any such additional place is determined by the FIH Hero World Rankings as at the completion of the continental championships (8 September 2019)
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) 26 April – 4 May 2019
India (Bhubaneswar) 6 – 16 June 2019
Le Touquet (France) 15-23 June 2019
Ireland (Dublin) 8-16 June 2019
Japan (Hiroshima) 15-23 June 2019
Valencia (Spain) 19-27 June 2019