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THE FINAL STRETCH | Indian men's, women's teams set to conclude FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24

IANS | Updated on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 15:45 PM IST
Indian men's, women's teams set to conclude FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24

ANTWERP: The Indian hockey men and women teams are currently in Europe to see out the final stretch of their FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 campaign. Both teams will take on Argentina and Belgium in the mini-tournament in Antwerp from May 22 to 26 before moving to London to compete against Germany and Great Britain in the mini-tournament from June 1 to 9.

The Indian women's hockey team is placed sixth in the table after earning eight points from eight matches. So far, they have registered victories against the United States and Australia while also earning a shootout victory against the United States. Led by newly appointed captain Salima Tete, the team will now look to earn maximum points from their remaining matches.

Commenting on the outlook of the team ahead of the match, Salima said, “We had an intense training block in SAI while also playing practice matches against South Africa to prepare for these FIH Hockey Pro League matches. The point difference between us and second-placed China is just seven points. We aim to close this gap in the remaining matches against Argentina, Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain in a bid to finish as high as we can.”

The men’s team is placed third in the table after amassing 15 points from 8 matches. They registered three victories across Rourkela and Bhubaneswar legs; once against Spain and twice over Ireland. They also earned two bonus points after shootout victories against Spain and the Netherlands. Led by captain Harmanpreet Singh, the team will look to use the platform to prepare for the prestigious Paris 2024 Olympics set to begin on July 27.

"We are grateful to have this opportunity to test ourselves against tough opponents like Argentina, Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics. Undoubtedly, we are focused on the Olympics but we also need to give our best to finish as Champions and secure direct qualification for the 2026 Hockey World Cup as well. To achieve both these targets we will strive to give our all on the pitch and win all our matches," said captain Harmanpreet Singh ahead of the match against Argentina.

Both teams will begin their European leg on May 22 against Argentina, followed by back-to-back matches against Belgium on May 23 and 25. They will take on Argentina again on May 26 before moving on to the final leg in London where they play Germany on June 1 and 8 and take on hosts Great Britain on June 2 and 9.