Canada's field hockey team wants top 9 at Rio Olympics

Canada's field hockey team wants top 9 at Rio Olympics

Canada's men's field hockey team hopes the momentum from their silver-medal win at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games will lead them to an historic complete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Canadians lost to Argentina in the Pan Am final yet qualified for Rio nonetheless. The Rio Games will be mark Canada's seventh appearance at the Olympics in men's field hockey, yet they have never finished better than 10th, as they did in Beijing in 2008.

"Typically it's a huge accomplishment just to qualify," said team captain Scott Tupper. "We're a smaller nation in the broader scope throughout the world & we've done well to qualify."

"We're looking forward to it," said Canadian coach Anthony Farry. "There's been talks approximately [finishing in the] top eight, there's moreover been talk approximately finishing top six & for us to do that, we'd have to do significantly well.

"You've received to win a couple of games, maybe have a performance go your way every now & then, for you to obtain into a top-eight position, which would be quite significant for Canada."

Veteran midfielder David Jameson, who has been on Canada's roster for 231 international matches, moreover believes Canada has a satisfactory opportunity to do well in Rio.

"This Olympics is going to be a bit different, because there have been some teams that have made this one that usually aren't there," said Jameson, 30. "One being Brazil, & a couple more teams that might make it in, [they are] more on par with where we're at. We feel like we're probably better than them, & having that chance to beat those teams in pool play & classification play, we think we can probably beat our record of 10th."

India, Germany, Argentina, Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Great Britain and Spain are the other teams that have qualified for Rio so far, with two spots left to be determined.

"I think every team is going to sit there & say they want to win a gold medal and, of course, nothing is out of the realm of possibility," said Tupper, 28, who has 215 international caps. "That would be a massive, spectacular achievement. I don't think a nation ranked as low as we will be in the tournament has done that." 

The team resumed training in mid-October after some time off following the Pan Am Games.

"For us, Pan Ams were good, we had some satisfactory periods throughout the games, & we know that we can compete with teams ranked around our level or a bit below," said Tupper. "We lost the final to Argentina, a very satisfactory side, [but] we have to start looking to compete consistently with teams like that, that are ranked in the top-eight or so nations, in the world."

Canada's next major tournament will be the Hero Hockey World League Final in Raipur, India from Nov. 27 to Dec. 6. Canada is up against seven other teams that have qualified for Rio & all are ranked in the top eight in the world.

Canada is currently ranked 14th in outdoor field hockey, according to the International Hockey Federation. The Canadians will take on Great Britain, Belgium and Australia in round-robin play at the World League event.  

Canada competed in the 1964, 1976, 1984, 1988, 2000 & 2008 Olympics.

Source: “CBC”

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