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Hockey Olympic Qualifier Series kicks off from Feb 18

New Delhi, Fri, 17 Feb 2012 NI Wire

The first out of three Hockey Olympic Qualifier Series for both men and women is set to begin at Major Dhyanchand National Hockey Stadium from February 18, 2012. The winner of this series will gate the pass to play in the London Olympic Games 2012.

India is hosting the first men and women Hockey Olympic Qualifier Series that will run from February 18 to February 25.

In men's pool, five more nations - Canada, France, Poland, Singapore, Italy - along with India are exercising their fate while in Women's pool South Africa, Italy, Canada, Ukrain, Poland along with India will play.

All matches of both the pools will be played at Major Dhyanchand National Hockey Stadium. The first match will be played at 10 am on 18th February in which South Africa Women team will take on Poland Women Team.

The first match in Men's pool will be held at 2 p.m. on 18th February between Canada and Italy. India's first match will kick off from 6 p.m. on the same day in which Indian women hockey team will counter Ukrain while Indian Men Hockey team will play its first match with Singapore at 8 p.m. on the inaugural day.

A total 18 matches including securing the berth place will be played in each pool.

The winner of each pool will qualify to play in their respective pools in London Olympic games scheduled to begin from 27th July (to 12th August 2012).

There will be a three Hockey Olympic Qualifier Series in both pools scheduled to play in India (both men and women), Dublin, Ireland (Men), Kontich, Belgium (Women), Kakamigahara, Japan (both men and women).

The second Women Hockey Olympic Qualifier Series is scheduled to play from 17th to 25th March 2012 while second Men Hockey Olympic Qualifier Series will be played from 10th - 18th March in Dublin, Ireland.

The third Hockey Olympic Qualifier Series in both pools will begin at the same time and in the same venue similar to first Hockey Olympic Qualifier Series.

Three teams in each pools and each tournaments will qualify to play in London Olympics.

On the other hand, in a major breakthrough for Indian Hockey teams comes on Wednesday when World Series Hockey (WSH), a newly formed premium hockey institution has announced to award a cash prize of whopping Rs. 2-crore to the Indian team if it manage to secure gold medal in the London Olympic Tournament.

World Series Hockey (WSH) is a premium initiative of Hockey India (HI), the governing body of Indian Hockey, set to establish to reinvigorate the decaying charm of hockey in India.

If any Indian team (men or women) manage to seal silver, it will get Rs. 1-crore while for bagging a bronze WSH will award them with Rs. 50 lakhs.

If Indian team qualifies for the 2012 Olympics, Rs. 5 lakh will be given to every WSH player in the Indian Team.

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