The India men’s and women’s hockey teams left for Lausanne, Switzerland in the early hours of Wednesday to participate in the inaugural edition of the FIH Hockey5s Lausanne 2022, which will be held on June 4-5.
While the men’s team is scheduled to play Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland and Switzerland, the women’s team will face South Africa, Uruguay, Poland and Switzerland in the round-robin stage. The top two teams will square off in the final on June 5.
The Rajani Etimarpu-led women’s team will take on Uruguay in the opening match on June 4 followed by a match against Poland on the same day. They will then square off against hosts Switzerland and South Africa, respectively on June 5.
Expressing the team’s excitement ahead of their departure, Rajani stated, “Hockey5s will be a different ball game altogether. Our skills, speed and everything will be tested. It will be challenging for sure, but I think it will really exciting format to play. We’ve got a couple of players in the team who are acquainted with this format, and we’ve had good preparations at the camp. We are looking forward to representing our country in the inaugural edition of the Hockey5s.”
Meanwhile, the Indian men’s team, led by Gurinder Singh, will play its opening match against hosts Switzerland, followed by a match against Pakistan on the opening day. They will face Malaysia and Poland on June 5.
“We are really excited to play a different version of hockey at an international level that too in a beautiful country. It’s a fast-paced and challenging format. Many of our players have played this format before at the Youth Olympics, so we are confident of doing well,” said Gurinder.