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Sunil predicting challenging FIH Olympic Qualifiers

ANI | Updated: Oct 24, 2019 17:21 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Oct 24 (ANI): As the FIH Olympic Qualifiers are inching closer, India's Sunil SV has said that they cannot predict a clear winner from any match as each team has the potential to create an upset.
"It's going to be a great weekend of hockey with Pakistan taking on the Netherlands and Spain taking on France. Canada, who gave us the woes back in Rio Olympics, will also be playing for an Olympic spot when they take on Ireland," Hockey India's official website quoted Sunil as saying.
"Anything can happen in such crunch games and all teams will come prepared to win a berth for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We will be watching these matches together as a team activity and I don't think we can predict a clear winner simply because these are Olympic Qualifiers and any team can create an upset. We have seen such results in the past," he added.
The qualifiers will begin from October 25 and India is scheduled to play against Russia on November 1 and 2 at the Kalinga stadium.
During the recent tour to Belgium, India underwent joint-training sessions with the Dutch national team.
Reflecting on the same, Sunil said: "We got to see the level of intensity they (the Netherlands) brought to their training sessions. We monitored their GPS tracking to see the kind of energy they bring into every drill and every interval. They looked in good nick."
"One can never take their opponents lightly especially when an Olympic Qualification is at stake and a first-hand glimpse of the Netherlands training ahead of their Qualifier against Pakistan showed that they were not taking their opponents lightly."
"I am sure the Qualifying matches this weekend is going to be top-notch. We saw what France is capable of when they beat Olympic Champions Argentina in the Men's World Cup last year and the result eventually put Spain out of the knockout stage. They are a very capable team and are developing fast into a strong hockey playing nation," he said. (ANI)