Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the upcoming men’s Hockey World Cup, teams representing Germany and Ireland arrived at the Biju Patnaik International Airport on Sunday.
Though they had a disappointing outing at the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final in 2017 in Bhubaneswar where they lost the Bronze medal match to India, the German team is vying for the top spot at the prestigious event.
Reflecting on the competitiveness of the game, German skipper Florian Fuchs said, “It feels good to be back here. We have played a couple of times here and the fans are fantastic. The energy is good, we can’t wait to get onto the pitch. We came here to achieve something and we have the capability and the team for that. It will be quite a tough tournament considering the games are stretched to the last minute and about eight teams are evenly placed.”
Germany are grouped with Pakistan, Malaysia, and the Netherlands in Pool D, and will begin their campaign against Pakistan on December 1.
Meanwhile, grouped in Pool B with Australia, England and China, Ireland too arrived on Sunday afternoon.
“We have quite a few senior players as well as youngsters. Many of them have never been to India so there is a lot of excitement among the players,” Irish skipper David Harte said.
Ireland will begin their campaign on November 30 against defending champions Australia.
The Canadian national team grouped in Pool C along with India, Belgium and South Africa, also arrived early in the morning, while Malaysia will join the remaining 15 participating teams tonight.
The prestigious men’s Hockey World Cup is slated to begin from November 28 to December 16 at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in Odisha.