Olympic play-offs: Ireland men and women both face Canada for Tokyo spots

Sport              Indian Men’s Hockey Team will take on Russia at FIH Olympic Qualifiers                            By          admin

Sport Indian Men’s Hockey Team will take on Russia at FIH Olympic Qualifiers By admin

Three-time Olympic champions Pakistan will instead take on the Netherlands, the world's third-ranked side, in Amsterdam on October 26 and 27 in the 14-team final qualification phase for the Tokyo Games which will see the aggregate winners earning a place at next year's Games.

The match-ups were announced as the official draw was held at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in Lausanne, Switzerland. "I understand there has been a lot of suspense over which team we might draw to play against in the Olympic Qualifiers but we didn't want to let it come in the way of our preparations", Rani said.

However after securing the silver medal at last year's World Cup, the Irish women should go into their home contest with the Canadians in a positive frame of mind.

The nations will compete in two back-to-back matches to seal their tickets for the Tokyo Games.

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The Indian men's hockey team chief coach Graham Reid said they are confident of qualifying for the big-ticket event. "I am sure they will come well prepared as it's the Olympic Qualifiers and they are capable of surprising any team, hence it is important we remain focused on our own performance and play our best hockey".

While the men's team have been handed relatively comfortable opponents for the qualifiers, the same can not be said about the Indian women's team.

The Indian men's team, ranked world number 5, is in Pot 1 alongside The Netherlands and Germany will face one team from Pot 3 which has Pakistan, Austria and Russian Federation.

In the women's section, Australia will play Russia, Germany will lock horns with Italy, Great Britain are up against Chile, Spain have drawn Korea, Ireland will face Canada and China are slated to meet Belgium.

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