Odisha gears up for men’s Junior Hockey World Cup

Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Vivek Sagar Prasad will lead an 18-member Indian hockey team in the men’s Junior World Cup, to be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from November 24 to December 5.

Coach Graham Reid, who led the senior team to an Olympic bronze in Tokyo recently, is overseeing the team’s training in Bhubaneswar.

Lucknow had hosted the tournament’s last edition in 2016 where India claimed the title after beating Belgium in the final. Both Odisha and Uttar Pradesh had expressed interest in hosting this edition but the former was selected as it is the national team’s title sponsor as well. Odisha had earlier hosted the senior World Cup in 2018, the FIH World League in 2017 and the Champions Trophy in 2014.

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Exalting Odisha’s status as host for various big-ticket sports events, the State Sports Minister, Tusharkanti Behera, said, “Not just the infrastructure, the processes for the successful conduct of an event are also in place, in the state. So, be it in a few years or a few months, Odisha Government departments and agencies have proven to come together and work seamlessly amongst themselves and with Federations to host a smooth event and in a timely manner. Asian Athletics Championship of 2017 was exemplary where the state turned around a challenge into an opportunity within 90 days. We had 60 days to host the Hockey Junior World Cup and Odisha is ready to play the perfect host, yet again.”

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