We have been forced to wait a year but Tokyo 2020 is happening in 2021 and fans of every Olympic sport are champing at the bit to watch the best in the world compete. Men’s and women’s field hockey was just such a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic but the games are back on and the round-robin contests within each six-team division, of which there are two, will begin on July 24th with the top four teams in each division advancing to the quarterfinal round. The men’s gold medal game is scheduled to take place on August 6th while the bronze will be determined the day before.
The two men’s divisions will consist of Group A featuring: Argentina, Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, and Spain. Group B will be comprised of: Belgium, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, and South Africa.
The two women’s divisions will see Group A featuring: Germany, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Netherlands, and South Africa. Group B will consist of Argentina, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and Spain.
The top betting sites have yet to begin dealing odds on the games or for the gold medal but do stay tuned because as we draw closer to the July 24th start there will be plenty of opportunities for punters to put their money where their mouth is!
Great Britain’s men’s team will play four uncapped matches against international competition as a precursor to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (2020 has stuck for branding purposes despite the games being delayed until 2021) this month.
Ed Barney, Great Britain Hockey’s Performance Director, said: “We’re delighted to be on the road and these matches will be of huge value to the squad in our ongoing preparations for Tokyo 2020. Our time in the UK has been invaluable and it’s not often that we have the opportunity for such uninterrupted and dedicated training.
“These fixtures present a real opportunity to apply much of what we’ve been working on at Bisham. We know we are in a privileged position to be able to travel and play and that is certainly something the players and staff are relishing.”
We are are working inline with the government’s roadmap around the safe return of hockey 😍
— England Hockey (@EnglandHockey) March 6, 2021
India’s Women’s Team Preps for Tokyo
India’s women’s hockey team toured Argentina in January of this year and played seven matches that month. Now they are hitting the highway again, only this time they are in Germany to prepare for their Olympic competition four months away and will be working out the kinks during this tour.
Rani Rampal, the captain of the Indian Women’s Hockey team, says this will be exactly what her team needs to determine how far along they are and what improvements are needed.
“Argentina tour helped us gain confidence, and we are really looking forward to our next assignment. These back-to-back tours in a short span are like golden opportunities for us. We are just months away from the Tokyo Olympics, and these matches against top teams will help us finding loopholes and gain momentum before the Games.”
Germany is ranked No. 3 in the world on the women’s side and this will allow India to find out how they measure up against one of the world’s powerhouses.
“It is going to be a totally different experience than the Argentina tour. From our skills to fitness level, everything will be tested, and that’s what we as a team want. It will be a challenging tour for us, considering we will be playing back-to-back matches, but I feel we are up for any kind of challenges thrown at us.
“To be honest, there’s no extra pressure as such. Our priority, for now, is to get into that competitive frame of mind. You know, the experience of playing against a top team like Germany will really add value to our preparations for the Olympic Games,” Rampal explained.
And the bubble atmosphere will still be front