The FIH moved the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers to Ranchi,
from Changzhou, China.
This development came after the Chinese Women’s Hockey Team earned direct qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympics by winning the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2022.
Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers will be held at Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh AstroTurf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand from January13 to 19, 2024.
Apart from India, seven national teams from across the globe will travel to Ranchi for the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in their bid to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. It must be noted that the nations that will finish in the top three will confirm their berth in the next year’s Olympics.
Also, the other three FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers will be played in Muscat, Oman (Men’s – 15-21 January 2024) and Valencia, Spain (Women’s and Men’s – 13-21 January), the Hockey India sources on Saturday said.
Speaking about Ranchi hosting the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said, “It is an honour to welcome the global hockey fraternity to Ranchi, Jharkhand. We are set to host some of the best Asian hockey teams in the coming days, as the Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy is set to take place from October 27th to November 5th. And now, hosting this event will solidify Jharkhand’s position as a growing sports hub in the country. We have a long history of supporting sports, and we are thrilled to host such a prestigious event.”
“We at Hockey India are delighted that FIH has supported India’s proposal to host the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers. This is a huge event for our players, and we are thrilled that it will take place on our home turf as the support from Indian fans will undoubtedly fuel our players’ determination to excel and secure their spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics,” said Hockey India President Padma Shri Dr. Dilip Tirkey.
“We would also like to thank the Government of Jharkhand and the state’s Chief Minister Hemant Soren ji, for their assistance in hosting the event,” he added.
Echoing the President’s sentiments, Hockey India Secretary General, Bhola Nath Singh said, “FIH supporting India’s proposal to host the qualifiers in Ranchi highlights the growing influence of Indian hockey on the international stage. We extend our gratitude to FIH for entrusting us with this responsibility and to the Government of Jharkhand for their unwavering support.”
Meanwhile, speaking on the opportunity of playing in Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in front of the home crowd, Indian Women’s Hockey Team Captain Savita said, “Ranchi hosting the Olympic Qualifiers is fantastic news as it will motivate us more than ever to seal a berth for the Paris 2024 Olympics in the presence of all the Indian hockey fans who have been supporting us through thick and thin. The team is looking forward to giving its best in Ranchi and repaying the fans’ faith in us so far.”
Notably, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team clinched the Bronze medal in the recently concluded 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 after a 2-1 triumph over Japan and the victory has boosted their confidence as they look to secure a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Moreover, ahead of the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, the Indian team will be playing at the Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi 2023 in Ranchi from 27th October to 5th November 2023. They are set to face Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand in the tournament, which will eventually help them gear up for the Paris Olympics Qualifiers.