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Formidable India women look to top pool with another powerful display against Fiji

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Indian women will look to maintain their winning momentum when they face Fiji in their last FIH Women's Series Finals Pool A match in Hiroshima on Tuesday. Photos: Hockey India

Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne says his team is focused on winning regardless of the opposition they face

New Delhi: Following their rich vein of form in the FIH Women’s Series Finals in Hiroshima so far, a formidable Indian women’s team will hope to top Pool A with a victory over Fiji on Tuesday. India began the tournament with two impressive victories against Uruguay and Poland respectively.

Being the top-ranked team in the event, World No. 9 Indian women will look to secure their semifinal berth with a win against World No. 44 Fiji at the Hiroshima Hockey Stadium.

Chief women’s coach Sjoerd Marijne is satisfied with his team’s performances in the first two matches against Uruguay and Poland respectively, but believes that there is still room for improvement. “There is no doubt that the team has played well in the first couple of matches, but we want to be performing at the highest level possible, and I believe that there is still room for improvement. Our conversion rate can definitely be higher and if that happens, it will be easier for us to win the matches,” said Marijne.

“What has impressed me in the first two matches has been the fact that we have created good field opportunities, and have also been able to earn more Penalty Corners (PC). The team is enjoying themselves on the pitch, and that is good to see as a coach that your players are enjoying each other’s company,” he added.

Indian women chief coach Sjoerd Marijne

He continued, “We do realise we are a much higher ranked team than the teams that we have played so far. Everything we do is about entering the semifinals, and that is where our collective focus is. We see our performances in the last two matches from the right perspective that all the good things happened, and the team is very well aware of this.”

The 45-year-old Dutchman also feels that his team is now combining well. “The most important aspect for me, is to see how the players enjoy playing together, and how they combine on and off the field. When you keep trying to combine on the field, it results in everybody getting an opportunity to play and perform as well,” he said.

India have so far accumulated six points from their two matches in the competition, with a 4-1 win against Uruguay in the opening match and a 5-0 win against Poland in their second match. But chief coach believes that the team is focused on winning all the matches. He said, “Even though we have won the first two matches and are in a good position in the Pool, our players are very focused on winning each match. We treat all the matches the same, and the match against Fiji is as important as any other match as it helps us in qualifying for the semifinal.”

On Tuesday, India take on Fiji in their last Pool A match at 10.30 hours IST. All matches from the competition will be streamed on fih.live

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India submits bid to host 2023 men’s hockey World Cup

Press Trust of India

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Hockey World Cup

Lausanne (Switzerland): India is among the three nations who have presented their bids to host the next edition of the men’s World cup, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) said on Thursday.

India, who have hosted the men’s World Cup thrice, wants to conduct the event in the January 13 to 29, 2023 window.

Belgium and Malaysia are the other two nations who have also sent their bidding dossier to conduct the men’s event but they prefer to host the event in the July 1 to 17, 2022 window.

For the Women’s World Cup, five countries have presented their bids, the FIH said in a release.

While Germany, Spain and the Netherlands want to host the event in the July 1 to 17, 2022 window, Malaysia and New Zealand are keen to conduct the tournament in the January 13 to 29, 2023 window.

“It’s great to see that so many national associations and countries want to host our quadrennial flagship events. This is encouraging for the further growth of our sport,” FIH CEO Thierry Weil said.

An FIH Task Force will meet on November 6 to thoroughly examine all bids and make a recommendation to the Executive Board (EB).

The EB will take the final decision on both events’ hosts on 8 November 2019 during their next meeting in Lausanne.

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Indian hockey team in good shape, says women’s coach Sjoerd Marijne

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Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne
Sjoerd Marijne with his wards.

Bhubaneswar: FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers is to be held on 1st and 2nd November 2019 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

This is the first time the Indian women’s team will be playing at the Kalinga Stadium. Rani, the team’s skipper said, “We have been looking forward to play here for a long time now. This is a dream come true moment for many of us and we thoroughly enjoyed our first session of training at the Kalinga Stadium on Monday. We are hopeful hockey lovers from this region will come to support us in our quest to make the qualification for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

Chief coach Sjoerd Marijne has emphasised on the two high-intensity practice sessions which take place on 19th and 26th October at the Kalinga Stadium.

“I want the athletes to have an idea of the kind of atmosphere they will be playing in on match days. We have opened two of our training sessions on Saturdays in the lead up to the event, so that the players can get a feel of the environment here,” said Marijne.

Speaking about the next two weeks in Bhubaneswar where the women’s team is training, Marijne said, “I think we are in that perfect rhythm at the moment and I want the players to build on this momentum. We are training one session every day and I am quite happy with the energy and confidence the girls are showing.”

The Indian Women’s Team will have open training sessions on 19th and 26th October 2019. These practice sessions will be open for public in order to give the local support the opportunity to watch their Women’s team’s players live in action before the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha.

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India beat Belgium for fourth straight hockey victory

Press Trust of India

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ind vs bel
Action during the match.

Antwerp (Belgium): The Indian men’s hockey team eked out a fighting 2-1 win over reigning World and European champions Belgium to register their fourth consecutive win of the tour here on Tuesday.

Amit Rohidas (10th minute) and Simranjeet Singh (52nd) scored for world no.5 India.

Belgium’s lone goal came from the stick of captain Felix Denayer in the 33rd minute.

Riding high on confidence after their 5-1 win over Spain in the third match of the Tour of Belgium, the Indian men’s hockey team started on an attacking note against the hosts and earned a penalty corner in the 10th minute, which was duly converted by Rohidas to give his side the lead.

World no. 2 Belgium, however, did not sit back and tried to counter the Indian attacks.

But some last-ditch defending from the Indians coupled with some fine saves by experienced goalkeeper P R Sreejesh helped the visitors go into first quarter break with a one goal lead.

The second 15 minutes had a similar story as the visiting team enjoyed possession in the opening few minutes, creating a few chances but the quarter ended with the hosts putting intense pressure on their opponents.

With five minutes to go for half-time, Belgium earned their first penalty corner of the match, but Indian custodian Krishan B Pathak, who replaced Sreejesh for the second quarter, made an outstanding save to deny the world champions from levelling the scores.

India, thus, managed to maintain their one goal lead at the halfway break.

Belgium showed their quality in the opening minutes of the third quarter as they secured another penalty corner in the 33rd minute and Denayer scored with stunning drag-flick to level the scores.

Thereafter, both the teams seemed focused on not giving away possession cheaply as the third quarter ended on level terms.

Belgium made a fast start in the final quarter and won a couple of penalty corners in quick succession but Pathak was upto the task again as he made some crucial diving saves to deny the hosts.

India, on the other hand, were happy to sit back and wait for their opportunity.

India’s tactic bore fruit in the 52nd minute when they scored a well-constructed team goal in the 52nd minute through Simranjeet.

Down by a goal, Belgium attacked in numbers in the dying stages of the match and in the process earned another penalty corner, but the Indians came up with some resolute defending to secure their fourth consecutive win of the tour.

The Indian men’s hockey team will again face Belgium on Thursday.

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