The Indian women's hockey team failed to book an automatic berth for 2024 Paris Olympics after finishing third in the Hangzhou Asian Games but it will get another chance to make the cut as the country is hosting the qualifying tournament in Ranchi next year. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has moved the Women's Olympic Qualifiers to Ranchi from Changzhou in China which earned a direct Paris Games berth by winning the Asian Games gold in Hangzhou earlier this month. (Hangzhou Asian Games | Sports News)
The Paris Olympics qualifying tournament will be held at Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh AstroTurf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand, from January 13 to 19 next year.
Apart from India, seven countries will take part in the qualifying tournament from which the top three will confirm their berth in next year's Olympics.
The other three FIH Olympic Qualifiers will be played in Muscat, Oman (men's: January 15-21, 2024) and Valencia, Spain (women's and men's: January 13-21, 2024).
India had lost 0-4 to hosts China in the Hangzhou Asian Games women's hockey semifinals and eventually settled for a bronze medal after beating Japan 2-1.
Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers will be held at Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Astro Turf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand from 13th to 19th January 2024. Teams from across the globe will travel to Ranchi for the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in their bid to qualify… pic.twitter.com/0TJw0jj6of— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 21, 2023
Speaking about Ranchi hosting the Olympic Qualifiers, Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said, "This is a huge event for our players, and we are thrilled that it will take place on our home turf as the support from Indian fans will undoubtedly fuel our players' determination to secure their spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics."
Indian team captain Savita Punia said, "Ranchi hosting the Olympic Qualifiers is fantastic news as it will motivate us more than ever to seal a berth for the Paris 2024 Olympics in the presence of all the Indian hockey fans who have been supporting us through thick and thin."
The Indian team clinched the bronze medal in the recently-concluded 19th Asian Games Hangzhou after a 2-1 triumph over Japan and the victory has boosted their confidence as they look to secure a spot in the Paris Olympics.
Ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers, the Indian team will be playing at the Women's Asian Champions Trophy in Ranchi from October 27 to November 5. The home team is set to face Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand in the tournament, which will help them prepare for the Paris Olympics Qualifiers.