The Indian Under-18 Men’s Hockey Team will begin their campaign at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games against Bangladesh on 7th October 2018 while the Indian Under-18 Women’s team will take on Austria on the same day. The Hockey competition at the multi-disciple sporting extravaganza will follow the fast-paced Hockey 5’s format and both the teams will have a total of 9 members in the squad, which consists of two Goalkeepers, two Defenders, two Midfielders and three Forwards.
The Indian U-18 Men’s Hockey Team are grouped in Pool B, and the Vivek Sagar Prasad-led team will face-off against Austria on 8th October, Kenya on 9th October, 2014 Youth Olympic Gold Medallists Australia on the 10th October and Silver Medallists Canada on 11th October apart from playing Bangladesh on the opening day. In Pool A, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Vanuatu and Zambia will compete against each other.
In the women’s competition, the Indian U-18 team led by Salima Tete are grouped in Pool A and will play against Uruguay on 8th October, Vanuatu on 9th October, Argentina on 10th October, South Africa on 11th October while in Pool B Australia, China, Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Zimbabwe will fight with each other for a Quarter Finals berth.
The Pool stages will take place between Sunday 7 October and Thursday 11 October. Classification and Quarter-Final matches will then be held on Friday 12 October, with further classification matches plus the Semi-Finals on Saturday 13 October.
“The Youth Olympic Games will be a critical tournament for the Indian U-18 Men and Women as it will give them a multi-discipline competition experience at a young age and this exposure will better equip them to handle the temperament and demands of International Hockey at a higher level in the future. Doing well here will be a matter of great pride for the Indian Teams as this is the first time that the Indian Hockey Teams will be participating at the prestigious Youth Olympic Games,” expressed David John, Hockey India’s High Performance Director.