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Hockey Olympic Qualifier (Men): India to take on Singapore today

New Delhi, Sat, 18 Feb 2012 NI Wire

The Indian men hockey team led by Captain Bharat Chetri will take on young blooded Singapore today at 8 p.m. in the first Hockey Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which has been kicked off today in the morning with women’s pool match held at Major Dhyanchand National Stadium, New Delhi between South Africa and Poland.

It is scheduled to play three qualifying series for London Olympic 2012, set to go on from 27th July to 12th August 2012 at India, Ireland and Japan respectively. Only winners of these series will able to secure their space in London Summer Olympic 2012.

In its first inaugural match, the 10th ranked Indian men team will play with 41st ranked younger Singaporean team, which seems to be an easy match for India.

Indian team that missed the last Olympic (Beijing Olympic 2008) due to not qualifying first time in 80 years of Indian hockey history, has a good opportunity to qualify this year due to face respectively lower ranked team. However, the future will tell the truth, hockey experts believe.

India will have to play with Italy (28th), France (18th), Canada (14th), and Poland (19th) and on 19th, 21st, 22nd and 24th February 2012 respectively.

Indian Captain Bharat Chetri over the opportunity of winning the title said that matches against Singapore and France would be our practice matches, however we could not take lightly to any of the team, as we have to qualify this series to seat the space in London Olympic.

Australian based Indian Coach Michael Nobbs is quite confident over his ace and experiences players like Sandeep Singh, Ignace Tirkey, Shivendra Singh, Tushar Khandekar and captain Bharat Chetri.

Sandeep and Ignace are the only two players in the current team who have played in 2004 Athens Olympics earlier.

However, he denied to take any team lightly and said, "Every match is crucial for us. So, we will play all the matches with same intensity."

Commenting over the fitness of the Indian team, Nobbs said, "Our fitness is good and I am happy to see that we are picking at the right time."

  Team Squad:

India: Bharat Chetri (GK and Capt), Ignace Tirkey, Rupinder Pal Singh, Sandeep Singh, Kothajit Singh, Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki, Saravanjit Singh, V R Raghunath, Tushar Khandeker, S K Uthappa, P R Sreejesh, Danish Mujtaba, Shivendra Singh, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, S V Sunil, Birendra Lakra.

Singapore: Samudra Setya Putra Pang Chian Ong, Mohamad Suhaili Mohamad Farhan, Muhammad Baquir Asali, Harjeet Singh, Mohamed Sabri Yuhari, Nur Ashriq Ferdaus, Mohammad Alfian Samsuri, Enrico Elifh Abdul Lathif Marican, Silas Abdul Razak Noor Shah, Chia Kai Bin, Karleef Sasi Abdullah, Yi Ru Tan, Muhammad Haseef Salim, Mohamed Ishak Ismail, Muhammad Shafiq Abdul Rashid, Muhammad Fazri Mohamed Jailani, Mohamad Farhan Kamsani, Muhammad Hidayat Mat Rahim.

First Olympic Qualifier Series Schedule Details

Men Pool

Vanue : Major Dhyanchand National Stadium

Date
Time
Representing Country
VS
Representing Country
18 February 2012 14:00

Canada

VS

Italy

18 February 2012 16:00

France

VS

Poland

18 February 2012 20:00

India

VS

Singapore

19 February 2012 12:00

Canada

VS

Poland

19 February 2012 16:00

Singapore

VS

France

19 February 2012 20:00

India

VS

Italy

21 February 2012 14:00
Singapore
VS

Canada

21 February 2012 16:00

Poland

VS

Italy

21 February 2012 20:00

France

VS

India

22 February 2012 12:00
Poland
VS

Singapore

22 February 2012 16:00

Italy

VS

France

22 February 2012 20:00

Canada

VS

India

24 February 2012 14:00

Italy

VS

Singapore

24 February 2012 16:00

France

VS
Canada
24 February 2012 20:00

India

VS

Poland

Classification

Fifth and Sixth Position Match

26 February 2012 15:00
P5
VS
P6

Third and Fourth Position Match

26 February 2012 17:30
P3
VS
P4

Final Match

26 February 2012 20:00
P1
VS
P2


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