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Japan starts as favourities for 4th Hockey World League Round 2 tourney

Olympics Day 7 - Hockey

Big-time hockey will grace the Russian city of Elektrostal as it stages the fourth and final men’s FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament from May 27. Japan – the lone Asian participant in the competition will start as favourites.

The world number 16 Japanese men would be keen to book a berth in the semi-finals slated to be held Rotterdam and Johor Bahru next month.

The Redshirts are expected to face resistance from hosts and 20th ranked Russia. 21st ranked Czech Republic, 22nd ranked Austria, 24th ranked Egypt and 27th ranked Ukraine are also vying for the two available semi-final berths.

Although Japan should have it easy, the tussle for the second berth could be a tight one with all the teams standing an even chance of making the cut.

The winner of the fourth and final men’s FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament will join Olympic champions Germany, Asian giants South Korea and Argentina in Pool A of the second semi-final to be held at Johor Bahru.

The Pool B of the Johor Bahru event would comprise England, South Africa, Pakistan and hosts Malaysia.

The team finishing second in the fourth and final men’s FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament in Elektrostal would join Olympic bronze medallists Australia, Belgium and Spain in Pool A in the first semi-final to be held at Rotterdam.

The Pool B of the Rotterdam event features hosts and Olympic silver medallists the Netherlands, India, New Zealand and Ireland.

Earlier, Belgium and hosts France qualified for the semi-final stage from the third FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament held in Saint-Germain near Paris.

10th ranked Argentina and 12th ranked South Africa qualified from the second FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

9th ranked India and 15th ranked Ireland made it to the Hockey World League (HWL) semi-finals from the first FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament held in New Delhi

Meanwhile, the two women’s HWL semi-finals would be held in Rotterdam and London.

The first women’s semi-final at Rotterdam would see Pool A featuring hosts Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and Chile. Pool B would feature India, Germany, New Zealand and Belgium.

The second semi-final at London would feature world champions Argentina, China, US and Italy in Pool A. Pool B comprises hosts England, Australia, Spain and South Africa.

South Africa and Belgium made it to the semi-finals from the first women’s FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament held in Cape Town.

India and Japan made it to the semi-finals from the second women’s FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament held in New Delhi.

Spain and Italy made the cut from the third women’s FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament held in Valencia.

United States and Chile qualified from the fourth and final women’s FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament held in Rio de Janeiro.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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