New Delhi, September 8: The Indian Under-18 men's hockey team will begin its campaign at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games against Bangladesh on October 7, while the Indian U-18 women's team will take on Austria on the same day.
The hockey competition at the multi-disciple sporting extravaganza will follow the fast-paced Hockey 5's format and both the teams will have a total of nine members in the squad, which consists of two goalkeepers, two defenders, two midfielders and three forwards.
India (men) are grouped in Pool B, and the Vivek Sagar Prasad-led team will face-off against Austria on October 8, Kenya on October 9, 2014 Youth Olympic gold medallists Australia on October 10 and silver medallists Canada on October 11, apart from playing Bangladesh on the opening day. In Pool A, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Vanuatu and Zambia will compete against one other.
In the women's competition, India, led by Salima Tete, are grouped in Pool A and will play against Uruguay on October 8, Vanuatu on October 9, Argentina on October 10, South Africa on October 11. In Pool B, Australia, China, Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Zimbabwe will fight with one other for a quarter-finals berth.
The pool stages will take place between Sunday, October 7 and Thursday, October 11. Classification and quarter-final matches will then be held on Friday, October 12, with further classification matches plus the Semi-Finals on Saturday, October 13.
"The Youth Olympic Games will be a critical tournament for the Indian U-18 men and women as it will give them a multi-discipline competition experience at a young age and this exposure will better equip them to handle the temperament and demands of international hockey at a higher level in the future. Doing well here will be a matter of great pride for the Indian teams as this is the first time that the Indian hockey teams will be participating at the prestigious Youth Olympic Games," expressed David John, Hockey India's high performance director.
Source: Hockey India