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USA, Chile, Malaysia teams in Bhubaneswar for FIH Jr Hockey WC

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 18 (IANS) Team USA, Chile and Malaysia have arrived here for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021 that will commence from November 24.

While the USA and Chile teams landed here on Thursday, the Malaysian team arrived on Wednesday night.

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Grouped in Pool C, along with Korea, Spain, and the Netherlands, the USA is in for a tough battle to make it through to the group stages.

“We had a camp in California. It was around 10 days, so we had a training camp there. We were preparing as a team, so we are ready to go,” said Pat Harris, USA head coach.

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Excited to compete at the iconic Kalinga Stadium, Harris said: “The boys are very excited. This is the first time for many that they have been in such a hockey atmosphere…. India has a very strong hockey culture with a big hockey stadium. So, I am sure the boys will really enjoy playing in the hockey stadium.”

Speaking about the team’s preparations, Chile captain Nicolas Abujatum said: “We have been preparing a lot. We were a part of the Pan-American Championship, which was a big part of our process. Afterwards, we continued training for the World Cup with our staff.”

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The team is excited to play at Kalinga Stadium, as most of the players have not played in such a great stadium, he added.

“Our team is very excited to play at the Kalinga Stadium as it is a very big and respected stadium. Many big tournaments have been held here, and many legends have played here, so it will be an honour to play here,” said Malaysia head coach Wallace Tan.

The USA will open up their campaign against Spain on November 25, while Chile and Malaysia, who are both placed in Group A along with Belgium and South Africa will face off against each other in their first game of the tournament on November 24.

–IANS

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