Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Vivek Sagar Prasad will lead an 18-member Indian hockey team in the Men’s Junior World Cup, which will be held at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from November 24 to December 5.
Coach Graham Reid, who recently led the senior team to Olympic bronze in Tokyo, is overseeing the team’s training in Bhubaneswar.
Lucknow hosted the last edition of the tournament in 2016, where India won 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 the title sponsor of the national team. Odisha previously hosted the Senior World Cup in 2018, the FIH World League in 2017 and the Champions Trophy in 2014.
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Glorifying Odisha’s status as a host for various high-level sporting events, the state minister of sport, Tusharkanti Behera, said: “Not just the infrastructure, the processes for the success of an event are also in place in the state. So, whether it’s in a few years or months, Odisha’s government departments and agencies have shown that they seamlessly join and work with each other and with Federations to host a regular and timely event. The 2017 Asian Athletics Championships were exemplary where the state turned a challenge into an opportunity within 90 days. We had 60 days to host the Junior Hockey World Cup and Odisha is ready to be the perfect host once again. “