Indian men’s hockey team poses in Olympic jersey

Bengaluru: The players of the Indian men’s hockey team showcased their official jersey ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics before its departure to Europe for a camp leading into the mega event. The team candidly posed in front of the Olympic Rings in SAI, Bengaluru, their home base on Saturday.

Having been through a two-week intense national coaching camp here, the Olympic bronze medal-winning team will leave on Monday for Switzerland. The team, captained by Harmanpreet Singh, will spend three days at Mike Horn’s base in Switzerland for mental toughness and conditioning followed by a short stint of practice matches in the Netherlands.

Hockey India has recently named a strong 16-member squad for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics, scheduled from July 26 to August 11 in the French capital.

The team, with five Olympic debutants, will be led by ace drag-flicker and defender Harmanpreet Singh, with powerful midfielder Hardik Singh as the vice-captain.

Harmanpreet is set to play in his third Olympics, having debuted as the youngest member of the Indian squad at the 2016 Rio Olympics and subsequently contributing to the bronze medal win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The squad also features veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and midfielder Manpreet Singh, both of whom will be making their fourth Olympic appearance. The backline includes Harmanpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Sumit, and Sanjay, while the midfield will be manned by Raj Kumar Pal, Shamsher Singh, Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, and Vivek Sagar Prasad.

The forward line boasts formidable players such as Abhishek, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, and Gurjant Singh.

Additionally, goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak, midfielder Nilakanta Sharma, and defender Jugraj Singh have been named as alternate athletes.

Jarmanpreet Singh, Sanjay, Raj Kumar Pal, Abhishek, and Sukhjeet Singh are the five players who are set to make their Olympic debut in Paris.

At the Paris 2024 Olympics, India are placed in Pool B alongside defending Champions Belgium, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, and Ireland. To advance to the quarterfinals, the team must secure a top-four finish in their pool.

Pool A comprises the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, South Africa, and host nation France, setting the stage for a highly competitive 12-team men’s hockey tournament at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

India will kick off their campaign on July 27 against New Zealand, followed by a match against Argentina on July 29. They will then face Ireland and Belgium on July 30 and August 1, respectively, with their final group stage game against Australia on August 2.

(IANS) 

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