The nation’s rival at the test event for hockey at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next week has been confirmed. Olympic followers from all over the world can buy Olympic Hockey tickets online.
The contest, part of the “Ready Steady Japan” test event series, will be held at the newly built Oi Hockey Stadium from next Saturday to Wednesday. Eight sides – four men’s and four women’s – will take part.
Japan, India, Malaysia, and New Zealand will contest the men’s contest, while Australia, China, Japan, and India feature in the women’s competition. As well as providing competitive hockey at the new venue, the primary purpose is as a dress rehearsal to ensure all facilities and operations are perfected before next year’s Games.
India is the highest-ranked men’s team, currently fifth in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) world rankings. Eighth-ranked New Zealand is bringing a strong team, including Captain Blair Tarrant, who has nearly 200 international caps.
Malaysia, 12th in the world, is in good form after beating Germany, Spain, and Ireland on a tour of Europe, while hosts Japan – world number 16 – will gain valuable top-level experience prior to the Olympics. In the women’s competition, world number two Australia, who missed out on winning the inaugural FIH Pro League to the Netherlands by the penalty shoot-out in the final, are the favorites.
Hosts Japan surprisingly beat India in the 2018 Asian Games final, meaning both India and China are not guaranteed an Olympic sport and are looking for form ahead of qualifying later this year. Both tournaments will see the four teams compete in a round-robin stage, with the top two sides qualifying for the final.
The opening games take place on August 17 with India against Japan and Australia versus China in the women’s event, followed by India versus Malaysia and New Zealand against Japan in the men’s competition. The 2020 Olympics begin on July 24, with hockey getting underway the following day.
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