Indian Men's Hockey Team to open Hangzhou Asian Games campaign against Uzbekistan; Indian Women's Hockey Team to face Singapore in opener

.The hockey schedule was jointly announced by the Hangzhou Asian Games organising committee and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) on Tuesday,

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Payal Debnath
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Indian Men's Hockey Team to open Hangzhou Asian Games campaign against Uzbekistan; Indian Women's Hockey Team to face Singapore in opener | Sportz Point

With a chance to earn a direct Paris Olympics 2024 qualification, the Indian Men's Hockey Team will open their Hangzhou Asian Games campaign against Uzbekistan on September 24th, while the Indian Women's Hockey Team will take on Singapore in their opening game of the prestigious competition on September 27th.

Also Read: Dipa Karmakar drops from India's Asian Games 2023 squad despite being at the top of the qualification stage

Indian Men's Hockey Team to open Hangzhou Asian Games campaign against Uzbekistan; Indian Women's Hockey Team to face Singapore in opener | Sportz Point

Indian Men's Hockey Team is placed in Pool A along with Japan, and arch-rivals Pakistan.

The hockey schedule was jointly announced by the Hangzhou Asian Games organising committee and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) on Tuesday, after approval from the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Indian Men's Hockey Team is placed in Pool A along with reigning Asian Games Champions Japan, and arch-rivals Pakistan. Bangladesh, Singapore, and Uzbekistan complete Pool A. Korea, Malaysia, China, Oman, Thailand and Indonesia are the remaining nations competing at the Games and are placed in Pool B.

Speaking on the competition that lies ahead, Indian Men's Hockey Team defender Harmanpreet Singh said that the team will not be taking any nation lightly.

"We are placed along with some strong teams in our pool, including Japan, who won the Gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. But we will treat all teams at par and will not be taking any competition lightly," Harmanpreet Singh, who is currently leading the Indian Men's Hockey Team at the ongoing Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, where India have remained unbeaten so far in four games. India beat China 7-2 in their opening game and then drew 1-1 against Japan. With a 5-0 win over Malaysia and a solid 3-2 win over Korea, India are currently on top of the table.

"We are already getting a chance to compete with some of these nations at the ongoing Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, and we will look forward to using this experience to our advantage in the future. Our coaches have always instilled in us that we need to be prepared for all our rivals. We will study all our opponents for the Hangzhou Asian Games, re-watch all videos to learn about their strengths and weaknesses and prepare our plans accordingly," Harmanpreet added, ahead of India's clash against neighbouring rivals Pakistan, set to take place on August 9th, Wednesday.

Indian Men's Hockey Team to open Hangzhou Asian Games campaign against Uzbekistan; Indian Women's Hockey Team to face Singapore in opener | Sportz Point

Captain Savita Punia said that the team will have to perform at their best to ensure they can finish at the podium.

Meanwhile, the Indian Women's Hockey Team, which won the Silver medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, is placed in Pool A along with Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong China, and Singapore. Reigning Champions Japan, along with China, Thailand, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia are the other teams in the competition and are placed in Pool B.

Also Read: Igor Stimac names 22-member squad for the Asian Games 2023

Speaking on the Pool stage, Savita said, "We are placed along with some strong teams in our pool. But we are confident that the work that we have done over the past year at the camp and training session will help us achieve good results in the competition."

Savita also praised the unity in the Indian camp and said that the team will have to perform at their best to ensure they can finish at the podium. "Hangzhou Asian Games is an important event, especially with a chance to earn a direct Olympic qualification. All the players are unified by the common goal to perform their best at the Games and if we can do that, then we are in with a good chance to finish at the podium, irrespective of which teams we face in the competition," she signed off.



Asian Games Indian Hockey Indian Mens Hockey Team Harmanpreet Singh