Bhubaneswar 23 November : While they are not among the favorites for the title, a lot will be focused on the France team at FIH Odisha Hockey junior men’s world cup starting here on Wednesday.Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics.France will also be hosting the competitions.France’s under-21 Hockey team at Bhubaneswar can show the world that they are worthy of a spot in the Olympics with a strong performance.Although it will be the senior team that will compete in the Olympics, the junior team’s performance will show the strength of their talent scouting programme and training program.France has not reached the Olympics since 1972.
There has been a precedent of a host country being denied a spot in the Olympics.In 2004, Greece was denied a spot in Athens Olympics due to its low ranking and lack of Hockey culture.
Japan was also denied the 2020 Olympics hosting rights due to the same reasons as France.They proved they were worthy by winning the Asian Games gold in Jakarta in 2018.
France is ranked higher than Greece in 2004.They currently rank 13th in the world.There are many opportunities to improve this ranking with some strong performances in the run-up to the Paris Games.They are putting in a lot of effort with a centralised program for the junior and senior Hockey teams.
Aymeric Bergamo, the head coach of the junior men’s team, and Timothee Clement, the captain, are confident that the team can put on a strong performance at the Junior World Cup.This is despite the fact that their preparations have been hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have a centralised program at the National Centre, and the best talent gets a chance to train there.Bergamo, coach, said that they strive to develop the best players.
“Not enough interest in France in Hockey in the country.We need more results to do that.
We are confident with good results that we will get people to be interested in our sport,” Bergamo said.
France has participated in nine editions in the Summer Olympics, starting with the 1908 edition at London.
They finished fourth in the Olympics twice, in 1920 and 1932.Their last appearance at the Olympics was in 1972 in Munich, where they finished 12th out of 16 teams.
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