New Delhi, 28 November 2017: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team are grouped with England, Pakistan, Malaysia and Wales in Pool B for next year’s Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast, Australia. The Indian Women’s team, on the other hand, will face-off with England, South Africa, Malaysia and Wales in Pool A in the event. Each team will play every other team within their pool during the preliminary round matches from April 5-11 before the top two teams in each pool advance to the Semi-Final and medal matches from April 12-14.
While the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will play their first match against Wales on April 5th, the Indian Men’s Team will take on nemesis Pakistan in their first Pool B match on April 7 stated the match schedule for the preliminary rounds of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Hockey competition following the unveiling of the competition pools today at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.
Sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), today’s announcement saw the 10 competing nations for both men’s and women’s Hockey competitions divided into two pools of five based on their FIH World Rankings. Teams have been divided into pools in a snaking pattern from the top-seeded nation down to the 10th-sedded nation to evenly spread competing nations across both pools.
“It is a tough Pool but we are looking forward to the challenge. We are playing England and Australia here at the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Bhubaneswar 2017 so this experience we help us in our preparations for the Commonwealth Games. With the top two teams from the pool stage qualifying for Semi Final, the group stage will definitely witness close contest,” expressed Sjoerd Marijne, Indian Men’s Team Chief Coach. Indian Men’s Team lost the Commonwealth Games Final to Australia twice in 2014 and 2010 but will be hoping to change their fortunes this time.
Meanwhile, Indian Women’s Team Chief Coach Harendra Singh said, “I am happy with the group. I believe our team can challenge any team in the world and jumping up the world ranking encourages the athletes to get better and better. It’s the Commonwealth Games and we can’t take any team lightly.” The only time the Indian Women won Gold at the Commonwealth Games was in 2002.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin CBE:
“Today’s release of the official pools and match schedule for both men’s and women’s Hockey competitions at GC2018 is an exciting milestone for fans of hockey from around the world.
“It’s so wonderful to see such diversity of representation from across the Commonwealth involving the best hockey nations from Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa and the Americas.”
GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters:
“With the match schedule and pools now confirmed, excitement is certainly building ahead of the GC2018 Hockey competition which will be held here at the world-class Gold Coast Hockey Centre. “Both men’s and women’s competitions feature some of the highest ranked nations in world hockey so the level of competition at GC2018 is going to be outstanding.
“And with 54 matches in total across the GC2018 Hockey Competition, there are plenty of opportunities for spectators to purchase tickets via gc2018.com/tickets and experience all the action at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.”
International Hockey Federation (FIH) CEO Jason McCracken:
“We would like to congratulate all of the teams on their qualification for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Today’s announcement will undoubtedly boost excitement for both teams and fans who now know who they will battle to qualify for the knock-out stages of the competition.
“The Commonwealth Games is a key event in the Hockey calendar for many of these nations. With so many world-class teams involved, plus an exceptional venue for our sport, hockey will be showcased at its best in the Gold Coast next April.
“The sport and its fans are certainly looking forward to what is set to be an outstanding event.”Source : Hockey India