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Olympic qualifiers: India face Mexico first
January 17, 2008 17:12 IST
Favourites India start their Olympic Qualifier hockey tournament in Santiago, Chile against Mexico on March 1.
Mexico replaced Egypt in the tournament proper as the latter had withdrawn due to financial constraints in competing in the Qualifying event from March 1 to 9.
According to the draw released by the Indian Hockey Federation, former Olympic champion India's toughest match against England [Images] has been slated for March 6.
The tournament winner will earn a berth for the Beijing [Images] Olympics [Images]. Each of the six teams in the fray will play five matches and the winner will be spotted on the last day of the tournament on March 9.
Playing the inaugural match against Mexico, India plays Bangladesh on March 2. After a day's rest on March 3, India clashes with hosts Chile.
March 5 and 7 have also been declared rest days in the nine-day tournament after which India plays its last tie against Austria.
At the end of the single league phase, the top two finishers clash for the title and the berth for the Beijing Olympics.
Mar 1: India vs Mexico, England vs Bangladesh, Chile vs Austria;