Bhubaneswar (Odisha), June 2: The hosts of the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Japan, arrived on Sunday in Bhubaneswar to participate in the upcoming FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019.
The Japanese side, led by Captain Manabu Yamashita, come into the tournament riding high on their success in the Asian Games 2018 where they won the gold medal by defeating Malaysia 3-1 in Penalty Shootout.
The Japanese team consists of six players who have secured more than or close to 100 International Caps, and their Head Coach Siegfried Aikman believes that the experience in the team can play a huge role.
The 60-year-old Head Coach also spoke on the weather conditions in Bhubaneswar, "It was almost impossible for us to prepare in a similar weather because the summer is just starting now in Japan, so we haven't got the chance to experience such heat. We did play in Korea before coming here where it was hot as well, but not this hot, so we will focus on adjusting as soon as possible."
World No 18 Japan are grouped with World No 16 South Africa, World No 25 US and World No 39 Mexico in Pool B, but will start the tournament as the favourites to qualify for the Final, given their recent performances at major tournaments.
They will be starting their campaign at the FIH Men’s Series Finals against Mexico on June 7. (UNI)