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World No. 18 Japan, arrived today in Bhubaneswar to take part in the upcoming FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019.
The Japanese side, will be led by Captain Manabu Yamashita, and come into the tournament riding high on their success in the Asian Games 2018 where they won the Gold Medal.
Head Coach Siegfried Aikman believes that the team is well prepared for the competition.
“In the build-up to the tournament, we have played against all different styles of teams which are similar to the teams we will be facing here at the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019.We will be focusing on using that experience which our players have gained and will aim at getting better results in this tournament.”
The 60 year old Coach also said that his team is well prepared to face other teams. Aikman said,
“If you have to win a competition like this, you have to win against everyone, and that is what our aim is. Of course, we will be taking it one match at a time, but the team is well prepared to face the challenges.”
Coach Siegfried also spoke on how it is important for his team to earn ranking points from this tournament. He said,
“We want to win because of the FIH World Rankings, especially because the rankings will make a huge difference in the division of Pools for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. We did not participate in the FIH Pro League, so we need to get the most points from here in order to improve our ranking.”
Japan are grouped in Pool B with World No. 16 South Africa, World No. 25 USA and World No. 39 Mexico and will begin their campaign against Mexico 7th June 2019 at 08.45hrs IST.