New Delhi, Sep 5: At a grand ceremony in Salalah, Oman, the global hockey body, FIH, unveiled the pools for the highly anticipated FIH Men's Hockey5s World Cup Oman 2024, which will take place from January 24-31, 2024 in Muscat.
As many as 16 nations will compete in the inaugural edition of the tournament and they have been divided into four groups of four teams each, with India being placed in Pool B along with Egypt, Switzerland, and Jamaica.
India earned their qualification for the tournament after a successful trophy win at the inaugural Men's Hockey5s Asia Cup, defeating Pakistan 4-4 (2-0 SO) in the Final at Salalah, Oman on Saturday.
Speaking on the competition in store, Mandeep Mor, who led the Indian team as Captain in the tournament said, "We will not take any teams lightly. We have a good time to prepare for the tournament and we will look to improve in certain areas. We will also study our opponents thoroughly and see their match footage to get an understanding of what we can expect."
Meanwhile, the Netherlands have been drawn with Pakistan, Poland and Nigeria in Pool A. Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago and Kenya are placed in Pool C, while hosts Oman will face Malaysia, the United States and Fiji in Pool D.
"There are some really strong teams that have qualified for the inaugural edition of the FIH Men's Hockey5s World Cup Oman 2024. Everyone will enter the tournament with the hopes of becoming the first-ever World Champions and we want to do that as well. We will focus on our own game and try to stick to our game plans to achieve positive results," Mandeep added.
The final of the Men's Hockey5s Asia Cup went right down to the wire and was eventually decided in the ShootOut. Mohammed Raheel (19', 26') Jugraj Singh (7'), and Maninder Singh (10') were on target in the regulation time, while Gurjot Singh and Maninder Singh scored for India in the ShootOut to script the 4-4 (2-0 SO) win against neighbouring rivals Pakistan.
Speaking on India's showing in the tournament, Mandeep Mor said, "We performed really well and we stuck to our plans. We had to face some tough situations during the matches when we were trailing. But we kept our composure and managed to maintain a positive frame of mind. We felt we kept growing as a unit throughout the competition, and hence we were able to win the trophy."
Indian Men's Hockey Team began their campaign with a 15-1 win over Bangladesh in their opening game of the Elite Pool and then followed it up with a 12-2 win over Oman. India went down 4-5 to Pakistan but defeated Malaysia 7-5 and Japan 35-1 to finish in the second position in the Elite pool table with 12 points in 5 games. India defeated Malaysia 10-4 to reach the Final and then defeated Pakistan in a thriller to claim the trophy.
The Indian defender further added that their performance in the tournament has boosted the team's confidence ahead of the FIH Men's Hockey5s World Cup Oman 2024.
"The tournament has helped us grow our confidence in heaps and bounds. We feel we have learned a lot about our strengths and the areas where we can improve upon. We will hope to continue our momentum and hope to get a podium finish at the inaugural FIH Men's Hockey5s World Cup Oman 2024," Mandeep Mor signed off.