Indian hockey teams qualify for Youth Olympics to be held in Buenos Aries. India sealed their inclusion in the five a side event which will be played from October 6-18 after winning their qualification matches for Indian men and women junior hockey teams. This was the first time ever that India had qualified for the games.
Both the men’s and women’s teams had participated in the Asian Youth Olympic Games qualifiers, which they played in Bangkok, Thailand. The men’s team ended a highly successful campaign for them by winning the final against Malaysia. They remained undefeated throughout their campaign in which they played a total of five matches. They sealed emphatic wins in their pool matches and the world saw them run riot over their opponents with 25-0 against Thailand, 6-2 against Japan, 21-0 against Hong Kong and 12-5 against South Korea.
The women were equally impressive despite having faced defeat in the final against China, which they lost 4-1. The team won all three of its pool matches, beating Singapore 14-0, South Korea 10-0 and host Thailand 9-0 before beating Malaysia as well in the semi-final by a margin of 4-2.
Wishes started pouring in on the news that the Indian hockey teams qualified for Youth Olympics. Hockey India (HI) secretary general Md. Mushtaque Ahmad congratulated the teams for attaining qualification. “Both the Junior Men’s and Women’s teams have worked really hard to qualify for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. I would like to congratulate the teams for showing great determination and securing their place in the quadrennial event for the first time,” he said.
These results meant that both the sides qualified for the event which will be played amongst 12 teams, the International Hockey Federation confirmed. A fast paced game and an intense five a side formant will be showcased by both the teams.
The current results have given immense confidence to both the Indian teams. Well-equipped with talented players at every position, the teams boast of a real chance to bring back a medal for the country from Argentina.
Australia, Canada, Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Poland, Mexico, Malaysia, Kenya, Zambia and Vanuatu will be the other countries taking part in the men’s event.
The women’s team will see China, host Argentina, Austria, Poland, Uruguay, Mexico, Australia, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Vanuatu on the pitch.
News that Indian hockey teams qualify for Youth Olympics is certainly something to celebrate for Indian hockey lovers.