For The 1st Time, Indian Junior Hockey Teams Qualify For Youth Olympic Games

| August 10 , 2018 , 13:14 IST

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Thursday announced that the Indian Junior Men's and Women's team had qualified for the Hockey 5's competition at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games to be held in Argentina from October 6 to 18.

The teams had earlier attained qualification to the mega event after participating in the Men’s and Women’s Asian Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers 2018 respectively which took place in Bangkok, Thailand in April 2018.

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In the qualifiers, the Indian Men’s team defeated Malaysia in the Final match in shootout 2-1, while the Women’s team finished Runners Up after losing to China with a scoreline of 1-4 in their final match.

In the men's category, the Indian team will lock horns with defending champion Australia and silver medallists Canada along with hosts Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Poland, Mexico, Malaysia, Kenya, Zambia and Vanuatu.

Whereas the Women’s team will face stiff competition from 2014 Youth Olympic Gold Medalists China, hosts Argentina, Austria, Poland, Uruguay, Mexico, Australia, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Vanuatu.

The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be the first instance for both the Junior Men’s and Women’s hockey teams where they will be taking part in the quadrennial competition after not having participated in the first two editions in 2010 and 2014.

The hockey tournament at the 2018 Games will follow the Hockey 5s format where a total of 12 teams will vie for the title.

Speaking to media, Hockey India (HI) secretary general Md Mushtaque Ahmad congratulated the teams for attaining qualification and said, "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."

The general secretary further added, "The Hockey 5s format is very fast-paced and I feel that both our teams are very well equipped to be able to perform exceptionally at the Games in Argentina come October".