Olympic berth at stake for India women’s team
It will be make or break time for the Indian women’s hockey team as they begin their campaign for qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics when they take the field against hosts Belgium in their Hockey World League (HWL) semifinal opener in Antwerp, Belgium on Saturday.
India have been grouped with Australia, Belgium, New Zealand and Poland in Pool B of the 10-team tournament from where only a top-3 finish can guarantee them a spot in next year’s Games. Also, a top-4 finish could mean qualification for the HWL Final to be played in Argentina in December.
India are bound to find it tough as apart from Poland at No. 23, all teams in their pool are ranked above them. They will have to finish in the top-4 from the group to enter the quarter-finals where each team will be geared up to exhibit their best skills and put up their best show.