India And US Women’s Hockey Team To Battle For A Slot At Tokyo OlympicsNovember 01, 2019 11:34
(Image source from: timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
Following three years of incessant hard work, both the Indian and the US Women’s hockey team are ready to take on the victory slot to enter the Tokyo Olympics that is set to be held in 2020. The FIH qualifiers are going to be a two day battle between the two teams and are happening at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.
The Indian Women’s Team does have a little upperhand because they are playing in their country with a home crowd cheering them on. Aside from that, the team has also been ranked higher in comparison to the US team, so that has to say something, right?
The team led by Captain Rani Rampal has had the same 10 players since the last Olympic that was hosted in 2016. In comparison to that, the US team just has 3 players from the last team and the rest are all new faces than what we saw in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The popular former Dutch defender, Janneke Schopman, is the one coaching the US team, thus embarking a better impact for the tea. According to the rankings made by FIH, India is placed at No.9 which is 4 spots above than what the American team is at.
But, if history is to be peeked into, it does suggest that it has favoured the US team before. The US team won the bronze medal in the 1984 Olympics and are all set to secure their spot in the fourth consecutive quadrennial extravaganza. India, on the other hand, are in the hopes to qualify around for the second time this year around.
The two day qualifier is all set to test the tactical acumen as well as the physical and mental toughness of the individuals involved around. India has always scored well on the tactical count but the American team does beat them with the physical strength.
In a statement issues, Schopman stated saying, “It’s going to be tough. We have seen in the past week that home countries have won (the Olympic qualifiers). It is a steep hill for us and we are ready to climb it.”
The skipper of the US team, Kathleen Sharkey said that it is going to be a challenge playing in the Indian team’s home stadium but they are confident about their capabilities as they have already played a number of away matches during the Pro-League.
The Indian hockey team does come with the hire and fire policy but Sjoerd Marijne was not at all worried about that. He stated saying, “These are the two matches we waited to play the whole year. We’ve prepared well. The moment is here and we are excited.”
The captain of the Indian Women’s Hockey team, Rani Rampal also said that the team’s first target to qualify for the Olympics was at the Asian Games but they couldn’t unfortunately win that. The team is actually quite excited now that they get to play in front of such a massive home crowd.
This FIH qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics is going to be a do or die moment for both the teams who are all set to compete for that slot in the biggest sports event.