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Hockey: Simdega decked up for national meet from Wednesday

Ranchi: Jharkhand’s Simdega, known as the nursery of hockey is gearing up to host the 11th national junior women hockey championship from October 20 to 29, the second big ticket tournament which this district will be organising this year amid the covid-19 pandemic. In March, it successfully held the 11th sub-junior women hockey championship in which Jharkhand remained runner’s up. The upcoming tournament will also be significant for players as it will provide scope for them to book their slot in the national team (junior) based on their performance, said officials.

A total of 41 matches will be played during the tournament in which about 600 people including players and technical officials are taking part. “There are about 21 teams taking part,” said an official of Hockey Jharkhand.

Hockey Simdega president Manoj Konbegi on Monday informed that the teams have started reaching the games venue. “Assam came on Sunday night and four teams namely Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Haryana are reaching tonight. Rest all will come by tomorrow,” he said, adding that the inaugural match will be between Hockey Karnataka and Hockey Bengal from 7 am on October 20. “Jharkhand will play against Tamil Nadu from 3.30pm on that day,” he said.

A view of an illuminated Astroturf in Simdega on Monday night. TNF picture

District administration and state hockey outfit have put in elaborate measures to prevent the spread of covid-19. Konbegi said that all visitors have been asked to compulsorily bring covid negative report of the past 48 hours and upon reaching here, everyone is subjected to undertake another test.

A player taking covid-19 test upon arrival. TNF picture

“This apart, the district administration has also arranged for vaccination camp so that those who are not vaccinated can be given jabs for safety. All the prescribed protocols for covid-19 are being strictly followed this time too. The district administration is also working overtime to make this tournament a grand success,” he said.

This tournament was initially scheduled to be held in Simdega in April but had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the second wave of covid-19.