Junior Hockey World Cup a dry run for 2023 WC: Odisha Sports Secretary

Sports Secretary R. Vineel Krishna expressed confidence that Odisha, which hosted the 2018 World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium, would be able to successfully hold the 2023 event.

Odisha expects to host the 2023 men's hockey World Cup after a successful completion of the junior edition.   -  PTI

The successful conduct of the men’s hockey Junior World Cup during Covid times at the Kalinga Stadium can be a ‘dry run’ for the senior men’s World Cup to be held at Bhubaneswar and Rourkela in January 2023, says Odisha Sports Department Secretary R. Vineel Krishna.

Krishna expressed confidence that the state, which hosted the 2018 World Cup here, would be able to successfully hold the 2023 event.

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“It's a long way. Let's hope by that time Covid will not be there. But assuming that there is a Covid situation by that time, since we have hosted a JWC that way it is actually a dry run for us for that event,” Krishna told The Hindu.

“Apart from the pandemic the JWC was hosted on a very short notice. The big infrastructure was ready but you always needed to do some repair or the other to bring it to shape. The final go-ahead came only in October last week from the Ministries of Health and Sports and also from FIH based on the Covid situation.

“It happened during the pandemic, so it added to the challenge. We had taken all precautions in terms of Covid protocols and testing. We are very satisfied team-wise (we did it) without any Covid positive cases in spite of the fact that they travelled from all across the world and they were here for a pretty long time.”

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Krishna was confident that the new 20000-capacity hockey stadium in Rourkela would be completed in time. “It will be completed in time and we will have sufficient time to conduct a test event.

“It is a steel structure. Currently the fabrication is happening at a different location. Once that is there, probably from December or January, you will start seeing the super structure.”

Krishna hopes work on the airstrip and accommodation for various officials in Rourkela will be completed in time for the 2023 showpiece event.      

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