Bhubaneswar, Dec 5: Winter has set in but the relatively high temperatures prevalent here, especially in the day time, have become a major concern for the European teams participating in the FIH Champions Trophy hockey tournament which will start from tomorrow.
Ahead of their tournament opener against hosts India at the Kalinga Stadium tomorrow, German captain Moritz Furste seemed worried about the hot weather conditions and said it will be a challenge for the overseas teams, especially Europeans in the day matches.
"We arrived for the tournament very late because most of the players of our teams were busy playing for indoor hockey for their clubs, which primarily is our livelihood. We were playing indoor hockey till last Sunday. But slowly we are getting involved and trying to acclimatise to the conditions," Furste said today.
"Heat definitely is an issue. Back home its -2 degree and here it is near 30 degrees, so there is a big difference in terms of temperature of the two places. But before coming here we had a five-day camp in Mannheim to prepare ourselves best for the tournament," he said.
Day temperature around 30-32 degrees
Furtse's England counterpart Barry Middleton said it definitely would be tough for European teams to play in the day time here. "We are playing all our pool matches in the middle of the day. We didn't know what to expect after coming here, but now it's probably better than what we thought it would be. Of course, it's tough because it is pretty hot out here but it is same for all the teams," Middleton said. "Back home it has not been warm nor it's freezing."
The day temperature in Bhubaneswar presently hovers around 30-32 degrees with the nights relatively pleasant. Each day, four games are scheduled with the first match starting at 12 noon, followed by next games at 2pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm.
India will definitely enjoy an advantage as besides home conditions, the schedule of the Champions Trophy has been made in such a way that Sardar Singh and Co. play all their pool games in the evening (7.30pm). Belgium skipper John-John Dohmen too aired his concerns.
"In comparison to weather back home it's definitely pretty hot here. So it will be a challenge for us and we are ready for it. We have prepared ourselves in the best possible way," he said. The Champions Trophy starts tomorrow with Australia taking on England in the opener, followed by matches between Belgium-Pakistan, Netherlands-Argentina and India-Germany.