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2020 Oly Qualifier
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Teams arrive, and Speak their minds (6/3/2019)
--s2h Team
Bhubaneswar city which aims to be the Sports Capital Odisha, is once again ready to host a major international tournament: The FIH Series Finals. With days to go for the tournament, the teams have started arriving in the city. Stick2hockey caught up with the participating teams to find out about their mood, preparedness, tasks and challenges.

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Graham Reid, Coach, India – “The tour to Australia has helped me in understanding the team better. We know the areas we need to improve. The camp in Bhubaneswar has helped us in improving our skills. The team is also balanced and we hope for a good show in the tournament.

Maciej Janiszewski, Poland - The pool is challenging with India being a part of it. But, we know we have to be in the top-two to qualify for the next round. So, we will definitely look to perform better. Denis Scshipachev, Captain, Russia - Our first match is against India and we are looking forward for it. A good performance against India will give us more confidence in the tournament. We have participated in camps in Russia and Europe and will give our best in the tournament.

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Ajai Dhadwal, Captain, USA - We played a few matches against club teams and then went to Ireland. So, the preparation is good. The team is ready and confident. The tournament is important for Olympic qualification and we will take one match at a time and try to qualify for the next round. We have to stay grounded.

Rinat Mamatkazin, Coach, Uzbekistan – We had preparatory camp in Uzbekistan and we played friendly matches against Pakistan for almost a month. Now, our team is ready for FIH series finals.

Teams start arriving in Bhubaneswar for FIH series As the countdown for the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar begin, the participating teams have begun to arrive in the city. The India team, which also conducted its national camp in Bhubaneswar, were the firsts to arrive followed by Russia, Poland, USA and Uzbekistan.

While India, Russia, Poland, Uzbekistan are placed in Pool A; Pool B has Japan, Mexico, South Africa and United States.

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While all the teams of Pool A are in the city and have begun their practice session at Kalinga Stadium; three teams – Japan, Mexico and South Africa will be arriving in the next two days.

India is the top-ranked team in the tournament with World Ranking 5, followed by South Africa (16), Japan (18), Poland (21), Russia (22), United States (25), Mexico (39) and Uzbekistan (43).

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