Asian Games: Rain could spoil IND vs BAN clash, hockey teams miss training sessions

After the rain-marred Asia Cup, it looks like, similar will be the case in the Asian Games, in Hangzhou, China.

It has been raining constantly for the last four days in Hangzhou, the venue for the Asian Games.

As per a report in the Hindustan Times, it has been raining intermittently for the last four days, which has stalled the practice sessions for the Indian teams. The report suggests that the Indian men’s hockey team had to miss two of their training sessions, while the women’s team missed one.

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We have already had one match being washed out — the quarter-final between the Indian women’s cricket team and Malaysia, at the Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Field.

“While the rain itself was manageable, the risk of slipping and picking up injuries is real. We wanted to avoid that, and hence we had to cancel the sessions,” a top Hockey India official told Hindustan Times.

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“We must not forget that winning the Asian Games gives us a ticket to Paris, so there’s no use taking such undue risks. We remained indoors and focussed on strength and conditioning,” the official said. Meanwhile, a possibility of rain interruption cannot be ruled out for Sunday’s women’s cricket semi-final clash between India and Bangladesh, and also the men’s hockey match between India and Uzbekistan.

As per the reports in Chinese media, the cricket venue was submerged by overnight rains on Saturday. Curator Chang Junjie said, “We don’t have modern equipment to dry the ground as cricket is not a popular sport here. We dry the ground using ropes and cover the pitch using polyethylene or PVC. It’s not easy to drain even the light showers.”

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