Bhubaneswar: The hosts of the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Japan, arrived today in Bhubaneswar to take part in the upcoming FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019. The Japanese side, led by Captain Manabu Yamashita, come into the tournament riding high on their success in the Asian Games 2018 where they won the Gold Medal by defeating Malaysia 3-1 in Penalty Shootout.
The Japanese team consists of six players who have secured more than or close to 100 International Caps, and their Head Coach Siegfried Aikman believes that the experience in the team can play a huge role. He said, “We have prepared well for the competition here. In the build-up to the tournament, we have played against all different styles of teams which are similar to the teams we will be facing here at the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019. It was an amazing experience to have taken part at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, and I am very happy to be back again with the Japanese team. We will be focusing on using that experience which our players have gained and will aim at getting better results in this tournament.”
The 60-year-old Head Coach also spoke on the weather conditions in Bhubaneswar, “It was almost impossible for us to prepare in a similar weather because the summer is just starting now in Japan, so we haven’t got the chance to experience such heat. We did play in Korea before coming here where it was hot as well, but not this hot, so we will focus on adjusting as soon as possible.”
About FIH MEN’S SERIES FINALS BHUBANESWAR ODISHA 2019
Open to all countries not in the FIH Pro League, the FIH Series gives developing hockey-playing nations the opportunity to test themselves against some of the world’s best and to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The FIH Hockey Series is composed of two rounds, played over two years. In line with hockey’s ‘Equally Amazing’ ethos, the competitions and subsequent qualification processes are exactly the same for both the men’s and women’s competitions. The FIH Series Open were continentally based. From all teams competing in this round, 30 teams qualified for the FIH Series Finals. Each of the FIH Series Finals will have eight teams playing in them, with berths into the Olympic qualifiers up for grabs.