“Exciting hockey action awaits as Rourkela gears up for Sub-Junior National Championship 2023”
Rourkela, Odisha, is all set to host the esteemed 13th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2023, starting from Thursday. The tournament will unfold at the magnificent Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium, offering talented young players from across India a chance to compete at a world-class venue and gain valuable experience. The championship, spanning 11 days, will witness the participation of 28 teams vying for the coveted title, with the grand finale scheduled for May 28.
The Venue: Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium
Regarding the newly constructed Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium, he added, “The playing conditions in Rourkela are advantageous for us as we have played in Odisha more than any other team. The stadium is impressive, offering world-class infrastructure for the players. I am confident that playing on our home turf will work in our favor.”
Team Pools and Participants
The teams have been divided into eight pools. Pool A comprises Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Hockey Karnataka, and Kerala Hockey, while Pool B consists of Hockey Jharkhand, Hockey Bengal, and Hockey Himachal. Hockey Association of Odisha, Hockey Uttarakhand, and Hockey Maharashtra will compete in Pool C, whereas Hockey Haryana, Goa Hockey, and Chhattisgarh Hockey will battle it out in Pool D.
Pool E features Hockey Punjab, Delhi Hockey, Assam Hockey, and Tripura Hockey. In Pool F, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu Hockey, Hockey Andhra Pradesh, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu, and Le Puducherry Hockey will compete against each other. Hockey Bihar, Hockey Madhya Pradesh, Hockey Mizoram, and Telangana Hockey are slotted in Pool G, while Hockey Chandigarh, Hockey Arunachal, Hockey Gujarat, and Hockey Rajasthan will battle it out in Pool H.
Defending Champions: Uttar Pradesh Hockey
Uttar Pradesh Hockey, the reigning champions, are determined to defend their title. Coach Vikas Pal expressed confidence, stating, “Our team is putting in tremendous effort during the practice camp, and preparations are going exceptionally well. We are in even better form than last year and are confident of clinching the gold medal once again.”
Contenders: Hockey Jharkhand
Hockey Jharkhand, the runners-up in the previous edition, enter the tournament with high hopes of claiming the top spot this time. Coach Manish Kumar said, “Last year, we narrowly missed out on the gold medal against Uttar Pradesh Hockey. This year, our preparations have been superior, and the team is in excellent physical condition. We are fully prepared to compete for the gold medal, and I am confident that we will emerge victorious.”
Hopeful Performers: Hockey Association of Odisha
Hockey Association of Odisha, the bronze medalists in the previous edition, also have their sights set on a remarkable performance in the 13th edition of this prestigious tournament. Coach Lakshminarayna shared, “After our initial camp in Bhubaneswar, we have been preparing in Rourkela for the past week. The team is working hard, and we aim to improve on our performance from last year.”
Tournament Schedule and Format
After an intense week of pool games, the Quarter-Finals will commence on May 25, 2023, followed by the Semi-Finals on May 27. The Final and the matches for the 3rd/4th place will take place on May 28.