What to expect today in the Olympic qualification hockey draw
NEW DELHI: The qualification process of the Olympic Games for hockey will enter its final stretch on Monday when the International Hockey Federation ( FIH ) carries out the draw for the men's and women's qualifiers that will be held in October-November of this year.
Based on the latest FIH rankings after the conclusion of Oceania Championships, top-four finishers from the Pro League and spots created by the continental winners, 14 top-ranked teams (n) will be part of the draw to decide the seven qualifying events each for men and women.
The Oceania Championship ended on Sunday, from where New Zealand (women) and Australia (men) completed the list of five continental winners for direct entry to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The remaining seven Olympic places, each for men and women, will be occupied by the winners of the qualifiers (n)
On Sunday, the names of 28 teams (14 men and 14 women) for the qualifiers took final shape, following which the FIH updated the world rankings and revealed the four pots for the draw.
The Indian male team remained at number 5, while women won a place to be number 9.
India vs Pakistan?
Fans on either side of the Indo-Pak border will cross fingers as there is a possibility of hockey 's most famous rivals being pitted against each other for one Olympic spot.
The Indian male team is placed in boat 1 and will take one of the three teams, Pakistan, Austria or Russia, from boat 4.
Russia was the last-minute participant in the men's draw as the next best ranked team, after Egypt decided to withdraw from the qualifiers.
In boat 2 on the women's side of the draw, India will wait to find out who they draw between Korea, Belgium, the United States or Canada.
The Indian team ended its 36-year wait in 2016 to return to the Olympic Games and it is a good bet to punch their Tokyo ticket. However, his path seems a little harder than that of men.
POTS FOR QUALIFICATION DRAWING
Pot 1 teams attract opponents from among Pot 4 teams, and Pot 2 teams attract their opponents from Pot 3 teams.
Boat 1 (host teams): Netherlands (3rd), India (5th), Germany (6th)
Boat 2 (host teams): Great Britain (7th), Spain (8th), New Zealand (9th), Canada (10th)
Boat 3 (teams away from home): Malaysia (11th), France (12th), Ireland (13th), Korea (16th)
Boat 4 (teams away from home): Pakistan (17), Austria (20), Russia (22)
Boat 1 (host teams): Australia (2nd), Germany (4th), Great Britain (5th)
Boat 2 (host teams): Spain (7th), Ireland (8th), India (9th), China (10th)
Boat 3 (teams away from home): Korea (11th), Belgium (12th), USA UU. (13th), Canada (15th)
Boat 4 (visitor teams): Italy (17), Chile (18), Russia (19)
INDIA TO PLAY AT HOME
By virtue of their classification (5th for men and 9th for women), both Indian teams can play as hosts at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
The qualifiers are scheduled for October 25-27 and November 1-3. The exact match schedule will be confirmed after the draw, which will be conducted at the FIH headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, at 4:30 pm IST on Monday.
Continental winners who qualified for the Olympic Games directly:
Men: Argentina, South Africa, Belgium, Australia and Japan (also hosts)
Women: Argentina, South Africa, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Japan (also the hosts)