Can Vivek Prasad continue the Olympic momentum and inspire India’s title defense?

Indian captain Vivek Sagar Prasad will be on assignment at the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup. The 21-year-old would like to convey his experiences from the country’s Olympic bronze medal and inspire his side to a successful title defense in Bhubaneswar. Kalinga Stadium.

India will face France in the final match on the opening day of the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup for men. The hosts are drawn in Pool B together with Canada, France and Poland.

India is a two-time junior hockey champion in the Junior World Cup, winning its first title in 2001 in Hobart, Australia. The second gold medal came in 2016 in Lucknow.

But since 2016, a lot has changed in Indian hockey. The country’s senior side, which had a number of players from the 2016 Games, ended a 41-year wait for an Olympic medal at the Games in Tokyo.

Also read: Is this Team India good enough to defend their title?

Vivek Prasad, who was part of the historic senior side in Tokyo, feels that he needs to transfer the same mentality to his side. The junior hockey team played some training matches against the senior team and the Indian skipper believes that it will help them in the competition.

“During my stay at the senior side, I have learned some valuable lessons from the big stage such as that the team always comes first. My job will be to keep the team together and convey the Olympic experience as much as I can,” he said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday. .

Five countries have traditionally dominated the World Cup for juniors in ice hockey, Germany has won the most titles (six), followed by India. Australia, Argentina and Pakistan have won one each.

This year’s hockey competition will be without Australia, New Zealand and England. The three heavyweights withdrew due to covid-19-related restrictions.

The Vivek Sagar-led side is among the tournament favorites along with Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. The Netherlands has never won a junior world championship for men’s hockey.

A top two place in the pool is the only way to secure a place in the competition’s quarterfinals.

FIH Hockey Men Junior World Cup 2021 Pooler

Pool A: Belgium, Chile, Malaysia, South Africa

Pool B: Canada, France, India, Poland

Pool C: Korea, Netherlands, Spain, USA

Pool D: Argentina, Egypt, Germany, Pakistan

India’s squad

Vivek Sagar Prasad (c), Sanjay, Shardanand Tiwari, Prashant Chauhan, Sudeep Chirmako, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Maninder Singh, Pawan, Vishnukant Singh, Ankit Pal, Uttam Singh, Sunil Jojo, Manjeet, Rabichandra Singwachm Lakram, Lakram Singh and Araijeet Singh Hundal.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee


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