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FIH Junior Women's Hockey World Cup 2023: India to take on Canada in their opening game

New Delhi [India], June 23 (ANI): The organizing committee of the FIH Junior Women's Hockey World Cup 2023 on Thursday night announced the Pools and schedule for the highly anticipated tournament, scheduled to take place from November 29 to December 10 in Santiago, Chile.

To add to the excitement ahead of the marquee event, FIH also revealed the new Junior Women's World Rankings as per which India are ranked sixth, while the Netherlands are ranked first. Meanwhile, Argentina, Germany, England and the United States are ranked second, third, fourth and fifth respectively. It must be mentioned that India are the top-ranked team in the Continental rankings.

The Indian Team has been grouped in Pool C along with Belgium, Canada, and Germany. India will open their campaign against Canada on 29th November before taking on Germany on 1st December. In their third and last Pool game, the Indian team will take on Belgium on 2nd December.

Having won the Women's Junior Asia Cup 2023 in Japan recently, Indian Junior Women's Hockey Team will enter the FIH Junior Women's World Cup 2023 high on confidence and aim to clinch the elusive trophy for the first time in the history of the tournament.

Notably, India came close to winning the bronze medal in the last edition of the FIH Junior Women's Hockey World Cup but couldn't as they lost to England 2(0)-2(3) in the 3/4th place match.

Speaking on the Pools revelation, Women's Junior Asia Cup 2023 winning Captain Preeti said, "We are thrilled to see the Pools for the World Cup unveiled. It's an exciting moment for our team as we gear up to compete against some of the best junior teams from around the world.""We are aware that each Pool is filled with talented and formidable opponents, but we see this as an opportunity to showcase our skills, determination, and teamwork on the global stage. We are confident in our abilities and will give our all in every match," she added.

Meanwhile, the Chief Coach of the Indian Women's Team, Janneke Schopman, said, "The team is blooming with confidence after winning the Asia Cup. But the World Cup will be much more challenging as we'll face strong teams from around the world. Every match in the tournament will test our skills, teamwork, and resilience. The Pool draw reinforces the need for us to raise our game and push our limits to achieve success.""However, we believe in the potential of our team and its ability to rise to the occasion. Our goal is to create a cohesive unit that performs with a never-give-up attitude, and stays true to our game plan while adapting to the challenges posed by each opponent. We will leave no stone unturned in our preparations to ensure we are well-prepared for the tournament," she added.

"Yes, the team is very excited," Indian Junior Women's Team Coach Harvinder Singh said, echoing the words of the Chief Coach, before adding, "despite the historic victory in Japan. The team is aware that there are a few areas where we need to improve, and we have identified those areas and are currently working on them as we prepare for the prestigious Junior Women's World Cup in Chile."Also, speaking on the newly announced FIH Junior Women's rankings, Schopman said, "Being ranked among the top teams in the FIH Junior Women rankings is a great honour. It shows that our team has what it takes to compete at the highest level. This ranking motivates us to keep pushing forward and strive for even greater success."As per the tournament format, each team in the Pool stage will play the other three teams in their Pool once and the top two teams from each Pool will progress to the Quarter-Finals, while the remaining teams will play for classification positions.

It is worth noting that defending Champions Netherlands are the most successful team in the FIH Junior Women's Hockey World Cup, having won the title four times, this is followed by South Korea and Argentina, who have clinched the esteemed trophy twice each. Germany have won the tournament once.

Here are the Pools for the Junior Women's Hockey World Cup 2023: Pool A: Australia, Chile, Netherlands and South AfricaPool B: Argentina, Korea, Spain and ZimbabwePool C: Belgium, Canada, Germany and IndiaPool D: England, Japan, New Zealand and USA. (ANI)