Japanese men’s Olympic hockey captain “cannot wait” for the Tokyo Olympic Games

Japanese men’s hockey captain Manabu Yamashita says he “cannot wait” for next year’s Olympic Games. Yamashita made his comments after Japan’s 52-year wait for the men’s team to again feature at the Olympics was extended by 12 months following the postponement of Tokyo Olympic until 2021. Japan’s men made their last Olympic appearance in 1968, but qualified as hosts this time around.

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“I am very excited and I cannot wait for the Olympic 2020 Games to take place in my country,” Yamashita said, speaking to the International Hockey Federation’s YouTube channel.

I feel extremely lucky. I will be very proud to be representing my country and singing the national anthem on the pitch. Japan produced a big upset two years ago to win gold in men’s hockey at the 2018 Asian Games – while the country’s women’s team also left Indonesia with a gold medal.

The men edged past Malaysia in the final via a shootout, having beaten Pakistan in the semi-finals and finished behind India in their group. It was the team’s first Asian Games medal since 1970 and arguably the greatest achievement in its history, with only Olympic silver in 1932 able to rival it. 

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That is the only time Japan have won a medal in five previous Olympic appearances. India will again be in Japan’s group at Tokyo Olympic joined by Spain, New Zealand, Argentina and Australia. Currently 15th in the world rankings, Japan are set to be the lowest-ranked team at the tournament.

The coronavirus pandemic – the reason for the Games’ postponement – has also had an impact on the team’s preparations, but Yamashita says they have stayed in contact throughout these testing times. We had weekly meetings where we discussed strategy, explained the 31-year-old. But we also had several online fun sessions where we did a lot of dancing and drawing. We had ad-hoc meetings and did some activities for kids.

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Olympic Hockey: Uncertainty fails to dampen Indian men and women’s hockey teams’ build-up

The vulnerability over Tokyo Olympic being hung on time because of the Coronavirus pandemic has neglected to hose the spirits of both Indian people hockey groups, who are proceeding with their arrangements at an invigorated Sports Authority of India (SAI) office in Bengaluru.

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It’s a little more than four months to go for the ‘best show on earth’ to start in Japan from July 24, yet the uncommon episode of the COVID-19 ailment has tossed the competitors’ locale in disorder over interest in the Olympic 2020. While the International Olympic Committee had, much after their most recent audit meeting on last Tuesday, demanded that there was no requirement for “extreme measures,” a few top competitors felt that the IOC is taking a chance with their wellbeing needs.

The Indian hockey groups, in any case, sent out a perky vibe as it’s the main group occasion where they have a history to flaunt and are considered as decoration possibilities. The men’s hockey group, positioned world No.5, are booked to open their crusade against New Zealand while the ladies’ group is scheduled to confront the Netherlands in their first match on July 25.

The COVID-19 flare-up has not influenced our training meetings. We are persistently washing our hands and our temperatures are being checked consistently. The specialists at our SAI grounds are guaranteeing that we are preparing in a protected situation. With the support of SAI and our mentors, we have been preparing exceptionally hard for the Olympic 2020, said Indian men’s chief Manpreet Singh.

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Rani Rampal, the persuasive ladies’ group skipper who was instrumental in the group’s capability for Olympic 2020, said that her side is lucky to keep on preparing for the Tokyo Olympic in a protected domain.

We are lucky to have an office like the SAI grounds here. Everybody is buckling down with the goal that the hockey groups can keep on rehearsing for the Olympic 2020. Our wellbeing is being observed regular and we are taking all the important safety measures. The specialists at SAI have helped us to keep on concentrating on our objective of performing great at the Tokyo Olympic, she said.

The Indian men’s group had equipped for Tokyo toward the end of last year subsequent to beating Russia 11-3 on the total in the Olympic qualifiers held in Bhubaneswar in November. Positioned ninth on the planet, the ladies’ group had made the sliced in the wake of revitalizing to beat the United States 6-5 on the total in the qualifiers.

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After New Zealand, Indian men will confront world No.1 Australia on July 26, preceding taking on Spain (July 28), safeguarding champions Argentina (July 30) and hosts Japan (July 31) in Group A. The ladies’ group, who are clubbed in Group A, will bolt horns with Germany on July 27, preceding gathering Great Britain (July 29), Ireland (July 31) and South Africa (August 1). The people’s gold decoration matches will happen on August 6 and 7, individually.

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Olympic Hockey: WA’s new international standard hockey pitch set for a play

State Government contributes $75,000 a year to the playing surface replacement program at Perth Hockey Stadium. The new playing surface the same type and specifications as Tokyo Olympics pitch. Australia’s top hockey sides have received a boost in their measures for the Olympic 2020, thanks to the State Government contributing to the charge of a new pitch at Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University.

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Hockey WA recently replaced Playing Field 1 at the Perth Hockey Stadium, ensuring that the turf is available for the Hockey rooms and Kookaburras’ Olympic preparations. Works included replacement of the playing surface as well as a significant upgrade to the subsurface. The playing surface will be the same type and specification as the Tokyo Olympics turf.

The State Government contributes $75,000 a year to the playing surface replacement program at Perth Hockey Stadium as part of the agreement to accommodate the Hockey Australia High-Performance Program at the stadium. The Perth Hockey Stadium lodges community hockey as well as State, national and international rivalries.

The new pitch is part of the State Government’s ongoing support for hockey in WA. Since 2014-15, Hockey WA has received $1 million from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries for capital upgrades and minor works, including a new roof and a lighting upgrade to Pitch 1. As stated by Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray.

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The pitch at the Perth Hockey Stadium is now identical to what will be used at the Olympic 2020 Games in Tokyo. This will attract top-level national and international level hockey competition to Perth with all the associated tourism spin-offs. The Perth Hockey Stadium can now boast pitches suitable for grassroots hockey right up to the elite Olympic level for our aspiring athletes of the future.

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Olympic Golf: Dustin Johnson Miss Olympic 2020 Owing to PGA Tour Plan

Dustin Johnson has obvious to miss the approaching Olympic 2020 in Tokyo owing to his PGA Tour promises and arrangements. The United States golfer, ranked world No. 5, was probable to the eye in Japan this summer. According to Golf week (h/t Bob Harig of ESPN), Johnson’s manager, David Winkle, said scheduling subjects were the aim of the choice.

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“You only can’t do it all, given the anew beaten agenda. Dustin and others erudite a lot about themselves and what works for the last year, so I clap him for not overextending himself and keeping his personal priorities in line.”

Johnson also chose to skip the Olympic 2016 in Rio de Janeiro due to concerns over the Zika virus, per Harig. The Olympic title, which will be defended by Great Britain’s Justin Rose, will begin just 11 days after the conclusion of the British Open. The tour calendar sees a host of competitions before the Open, comprising the U.S. Open and the World Golf Championship.

After the Olympic 2020, the world’s highest players will feature at the FedEx Cup playoffs, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship, and it looks the 35-year-old is absorbed on additional major titles to his 2016 U.S. Open win.

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Johnson’s decision shouldn’t impact the country’s chances of winning medals in the golf competition. Ten of the top 15 in the world hail from the U.S., including Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, and Brooks Koepka. Just four Americans will be able to contest, and they will be determined by the World Golf Ranking. Koepka lately said he’s to come to “see where all different fall” before obligating to playing at the Olympic 2020.

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Olympic Hockey: Paris 2024 Olympic hockey qualifier matches set for home and away

The Olympic qualifications for Paris 2024 should be played at home and away. Seven playoff games over two innings were played for Tokyo Hockey places, with the highest-ranked teams having an advantage at home.

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But the FIH wants to make it more even for the next Olympics, by giving the lower-ranked teams some advantage. Inside the games reported that ties would also take place in March, rather than October-November, giving time for nations to sell tickets. Weil, a former marketing director at FIFA, praised the quality of the Tokyo 2020 qualifiers, which were well received by fans, players and those on social media.

“I have to admit that when I got there I was pretty skeptical, mainly because we only had six weeks from the day we know who will play for the qualifications, to organize them, which is an extremely short period “, he added.

For countries that may never have organized such a thing – like Canada, for example – it was short enough to put it in place and put it in place. Also, from a business perspective, to make a business impact or sell it within six weeks – you can just forget about it.

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The home and away format means that some nations may not see commercial value in the pop-up locations that were for women’s matches in Ireland. It is obvious that Big Stadium Hockey has a place in the sport and it will, therefore, be interesting to see if the nations will always look for options to bring other matches to the site around the qualifications.

Two-legged, one-off matches for the 2020 Olympics have proven popular. There were notable crowds in Vancouver for the Canada-Ireland men’s qualifier, while Hockey Ireland used the playing field for their women’s games against Canada.

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Olympic Hockey: Sustainable pitch developed for Olympic 2020

A maintainable hockey pitch has been advanced for this year’s Olympic 2012 Games in Tokyo by Advanced Polymer Technology (APT), in collaboration with Polytan Asia Pacific and the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

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APT, a worldwide manufacturer of artificial turf, have created the Poligras Tokyo GT playing surface. It is the world’s 1st artificial hockey pitch to eye yarns made from over 60% regrow able raw resources, exactly sugar staff.

Other justifiable topographies comprise a shock pad under the surface that uses completely recycled neoprene and a folder that has been formed with carbon dioxide. 

The pitch bring into line with the aim to make Olympic 2020 a maintainable and carbon-neutral Games. Olympic medals have been factory-made using the valuable metal removed from mobile phones and other minor electric devices given by the community.

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Liveries for Tokyo 2020 bureaucrats are set to be made from castoff plastic, while the Olympic 2020 Incinerate is made from aluminum waste, and the daises from recycled household and marine plastic waste.

Roads that reflect heat and water-absorbing pavements, and a plan to have all the electricity used at struggle sites and the Athletes’ Village generated by renewables, are between the other initiatives designed to help combat climate change being future by organizers.

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APT also claim the Poligras Tokyo GT pitch, which has been confirmed and certified by FIH, offers cooling technologies that save insincere temperatures 10 to 20% lower than other pitches. This growths player comfort, with conditions in Tokyo predictable to be hot, and decreases the need for irrigation. 

Ball speeds have also increased by 15 per cent on the new surface, compared to the pitch used at Rio 2016, tests have shown. The pitch has been installed at Oi Hockey Stadium, the hockey venue for Tokyo 2020. 

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Olympic Hockey: Sustainable hockey pitch developed for Tokyo Olympic

A viable hockey field has been developed for this year’s Olympic 2020 Games in Tokyo by Advanced Polymer Technology (APT), in collaboration with Polytan Asia Pacific and the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

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APT, a global manufacturer of synthetic turf, created the Poligras Tokyo GT playing surface. It is the first synthetic hockey field in the world to have filaments made from more than 60% recyclable raw materials, in particular sugar cane.

Other durable features include a subsurface shock absorber that uses fully recycled rubber and a binder that has been produced with carbon dioxide. The field aligns with the objective of making Tokyo Olympic sustainable and carbon-neutral games.

The Olympic medals were made from precious metal extracted from cell phones and other small electronic devices donated by the public. Tokyo Olympic officials’ uniforms should be made from recycled plastic, while the Olympic flame is made from aluminum waste and the podiums from recycled household and marine plastic waste.

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Roads that reflect heat and water-absorbing pavements, and a plan for all electricity used at competition venues and the athletes’ village to be produced by renewable energy, are among other initiatives designed to help fight against climate change proposed by the organizers. APT also claims Poligras Tokyo GT, which has been tested and certified by FIH, offers cooling technologies that keep surface temperatures 10 to 20% lower than those of other terrains.

This increases player comfort, with conditions in Tokyo expected to be warm and reduces the need for irrigation. The speed of the balls also increased by 15% on the new surface, compared to the ground used in Rio 2016, according to tests. The field was installed at the Oi Hockey stadium, the Tokyo Olympic hockey site.

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Olympic Hockey: Improved fitness in last three years behind the team’s success, said women’s hockey skipper

Skipper Rani Rampal believes that improving physical fitness has been key to the recent success of the Indian women’s hockey team. Last year marked an eventful season for the Indian women’s team by booking its ticket to the Olympic 2020, where for the first time in the history of the game, it will make consecutive appearances.

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The team also clinched honorable victories against quality teams like Spain, Ireland, Japan, China, Korea, among others, last year, while beating higher-ranked teams like New -Zealand and Great Britain at the Olympic 2020.

“The start of the Olympic year was good. Especially because last year we managed to qualify for Tokyo. Since then, the graph of women’s hockey has been going well. In the last three years, the team has been very successful, “Rani told PTI.

The skipper feels South African Wayne Patrick Lombard, who was appointed as the scientific advisor of the women’s team in 2017, has made a significant contribution in improving the fitness level of the players, something the team had lacked previously.

“The mixture of fitness and skill has been great. Previous we used to lag behind in fitness. Nonetheless, that has better in the last three years. Wayne Lombard has functioned really hard with the side, personally and separately,” she supposed.

“In today’s time if the suitability is good we can play well but if there is no suitability even the skill won’t help,” she supposed.

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Rani, who currently has more than 240 caps for India, feels the improved level of fitness has brought a belief in the players that they can beat any team irrespective of the rankings.

“It has boosted the team’s confidence. They are not scared of facing any side. Also because these days ranking doesn’t mean much, whoever performs better on that given day wins,” she supposed.

We are concentrating on our game more than others. Our competition every day is with ourselves. How we can perform better and better. Former Dutch hockey player Janneke Schopman has joined the Indian women’s side as an analytical coach last month and Rani feels the Olympic gold medalist has made breakthroughs in her very first tour.

“She herself is an Olympic gold medalist so she is convincingly aware of the side, how the players feel. She has also aided us on the mental side. She tells us small, small things that have helped us a lot in the New Zealand tour,” Rani supposed.

Talking about the Tokyo Olympic, the skipper said the team needs to take one game at a time and avoid being overwhelmed. We have to utilize all the chances that we get. We can’t break the structure, if we break that, we lose.

“We will take one game at a time in the pool stage. We have to plan match by match, not rush ourselves saying that we need to win all five matches in the pool stage and once we reach the quarterfinals it is anyone’s game,” she supposed.

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On the individual front, Rani, who has been a member of the national team since she was a 15-year-old, developed the first-ever hockey player to win the admired ”World Games Athlete of the Year” award last month and the 25-year-old feels it is the main credit for women’s hockey.

“Pleased to be the first women’s hockey player to win the prize. This is the biggest credit for women’s hockey and it feels nice when women’s hockey gets such a credit,” she concluded.

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Olympic Canoe: Luuka Jones Double win for Olympic 2020 at New Zealand Open

Luuka Jones may have had an extreme 2019 however she’s had an amazing beginning to her 2020 kayak slalom crusade, with a twofold success at the New Zealand Open.

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The triple Olympian – who seems to be in structure for her fourth Summer Games in Tokyo Olympic this year – defeated Frenchwoman Camille Prigent in the ladies’ K1 last on the Mangahao River close to Shannon, Manawatu on Sunday. She at that point supported that up toward the evening with a C1 triumph, taking off Spain’s Klara Olazabel and Andorra’s Monica Doria Vilarrubla in the last.

I’m simply extremely glad to paddle well in C1 – I had an extremely intense season a year ago and just couldn’t get any races together and I’m simply grasping the way that I sense that I’m back and in a decent spot, Jones says. She says the universal unforeseen makes for quality hustling.

I did a couple of instructional meetings with Monica and they’re both in the best 10 on the planet so having that challenge just pushes you to go somewhat harder and includes that additional piece of weight, which is beneficial for me.

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Jones completed her C1 last in 116.22secs, 1.82secs in front of Olazabel. Her K1 win was more tightly, in the wake of getting a 2-second touch late in her run, leaving her with a 101.27 aggregate, 0.57seconds away from Prigent, who is one spot in front of Jones in the ICF universal rankings.

Cook Islands paddler Jane Nicholas was third in the K1 in 107.61secs, in front of Martina Wegman (Netherlands) and Vilarrubla. Rotorua’s River Mutton was the following best Kiwi, completing 6th in 118.23. Finn Butcher snatched some early command in the men’s K1, in the meantime, in front of the primary Olympic determination race in a fortnight in Auckland.

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Alexandra’s Butcher checked a clean 92.17secs in the last, 2.66secs away from Sweden’s Erik Holmer and 3.13secs in front of world No 20 Michel Smolen (United States). Jack Dangen, who won an Olympic spot for New Zealand finally year’s big showdowns, missed the last, while Rotorua’s Zack Mutton was fourth.

I didn’t have the best world champs and it set me back a piece in the choice race however now it’s something I must stroll towards and attempt and supervisor it, he says.

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Olympic Hockey: Harmanpreet Singh ready to help India onto Olympic Podium

The world number five team is in fine form as the Olympic 2020 in Tokyo Olympic draw near, just like their impeccable skipper. Defender Harmanpreet Singh is one of the key assets of the India national hockey squad as they begin the countdown to the Tokyo Olympics.

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In both the first and second matches that served as qualifiers for Olympic 2020, Harmanpreet made critical contributions to help India punch their tickets for the Games. But just how did Harmanpreet get hooked on the sport?

Farming traction

Born on January 6, 1996, on the outskirts of Amritsar, Punjab, farmer’s son Harmanpreet was enamored by the big wheels of the farm tractor. Seeing his enthusiasm, his father permitted him to drive the vehicle.

It was this endeavor, where Harmanpreet would frequently beat up his shoulders and arms wrestling with the tractor’s unwieldy stick shift, that the stalwart hockey player credits as having imbued in him the ability to carry out his potent drag-flicks.

Steered by the hands of fate

An interest in hockey that he cultivated since childhood led Harmanpreet to join the Surjit Hockey Academy in Jalandhar at the age of 15 with the hopes of becoming a forward.

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However, during his debut at the 2014 Sultan Johor Cup in Malaysia, his skill as a defender shone brighter instead. The then 18-year-old Harmanpreet sent in an incredible nine goals during the match and all of them from penalty corners. He would change the path of his low and powerful shots at the last second to keep the goalkeeper flummoxed.

Harmanpreet enjoyed further success in Malaysia the following year, clinching the gold medal at the 2015 Men’s Hockey Junior Asia Cup by being the top scorer of the competition with 14 goals.

Olympic foray and a bunch of other firsts

2016 was a year that saw Harmanpreet begin a streak that has, to date, seen him score 56 goals in 101 appearances, and consequently, win plenty across the board. First, there was a bronze medal at the 2016 Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy in London, where he was also named the Young Player of the Tournament.

After that, it was on to Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics, where Harmanpreet became one of the youngest hockey players to represent India, before capping off the year with a gold medal in the 2016 Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup held in Lucknow and bronze in the 2016–17 Men’s FIH Hockey World League season.

2017 saw Harmanpreet maintain his sharp form, emerging as the top scorer, with seven goals, in the tenth edition of the Men’s Hockey Asia Cup after India defeated Malaysia 2-1 in the final to win their third title.

In 2018, at the final running of the Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy, before it got replaced by the Hockey Pro League the following year, Harmanpreet Singh and the India team had to settle for silver after they narrowly lost out to Australia on penalties.

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Tokyo Olympic preparations

Heading into the Tokyo Olympic, the 23-year-old is shaping up well for the challenge that lies ahead of him in the New Year. While the year has gone by saw the ace drag-flicker take his game a notch higher and test the best in the business, he will know that the road ahead is set to be more daunting if he has to fulfill the dream to handing India another Olympic medal in a discipline that they once dominated.

The Indian team will be next seen in action on January 18-19, when India take on the Netherlands in their opening FIH Pro League tie in Bhubaneshwar.

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