Olympic Qualifiers: India men's hockey team to face Russia, women's team to host USA

Indian men's hockey team will take on Russia, while the women's team faces USA in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in November.

India qualified for the Olympic Qualifiers by winning the FIH Series Finals in June.   -  Twitter/ @TheHockeyIndia

Indian men's hockey team will take on world No. 22 Russia in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers to be played from November 1-2. While, India's women's team will host world No. 13 USA for a place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in a two-legged tie. Both the qualifiers have been scheduled to be held in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

A possible clash with arch-rivals Pakistan was avoided when the Green Shirts were drawn against The Netherlands.

In June, the men's reached the final of Series Finals against South Africa in Bhubaneswar, while the women's team booked a berth in the Olympic Qualifiers after reaching the final at Hiroshima, Japan. It was a longer road for India after the men's and women's team failed to win the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games.

The Indian men's team has previously met Russia in the group stage of the 2008 Olympic Qualifying event and beat the Europeans 8-0. However, the eight-time Olympic gold medallist failed to qualify for the time in its history after it lost the final to Great Britian. Both the sides clashed again in June's FIH Series Finals where India thrashed Russia 10-0.

The Indian women's team faced off against the United States in 2018 Women's World Cup in a group encounter which ended in a 1-1 draw. The Rani Rampal-led side finished 10th in the tournament after losing the quarterfinal to tournament finalist Ireland while USA finished 14th among 16 teams.

So far, five teams have gained automatic qualification for the Olympics after winning their continental champions.

FIH Olympic Qualifiers draw

Men

New Zealand vs Korea

Great Britian vs Malaysia

Canada vs Ireland

Spain vs France

Netherlands vs Pakistan

India vs Russia

Germany vs Austria

 

Women

Germany vs Italy

Ireland vs Canada

Australia vs Russia

Great Britian vs Chile

India vs USA

China vs Belgium

Spain vs Korea