Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Hockey World Cup 2023: Followers undertake gruelling journey to witness Chile making debut


A handful of Chileans are making themselves heard as Chile battled it out with New Zealand within the afternoon solar of Rourkela in its first-ever World Cup sport. The history-makers are being cheered on by the small group dressed of their nation’s colors, whereas waving their flags.

“My name is Ren Strabucchi. I am an architect. I am the father of one of the players,” one of many followers identifies himself. “We are all parents of the players,” he says, declaring to the remainder of the group.

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Ren is the daddy of Nils, the 23-year-old ahead of the nationwide crew. He’s joined by his eldest son, Nils’ girlfriend, the dad and mom of captain Fernando and his brother Felipe Renz, and the household of Jose Hurtado.

They made their journey right here after a gruelling 24-hour journey from residence by way of London, Delhi and Ranchi by air and highway journey. “We came by car. It’s really dangerous” chuckles Ren, explaining how they reached Rourkela from Ranchi. “In Chile, it’s a very small country and here the intensity is very strong. The intensity of life, people, animals… in Chile everything is much smaller.”

Chile followers pose for {a photograph} throughout their nation’s Hockey World Cup 2023 debut match in opposition to New Zealand on the Rourkela Stadium on Saturday.
| Picture Credit score: Aashin Prasad

Hockey just isn’t the largest sport in Chile, but it surely’s gained reputation in recent times. The nationwide crew is made up of semi-professionals with gamers additionally doubling up as account managers, college students, bankers and doing enterprise.

“Hockey is usually a girl’s sport than boys. The girls are more famous than the boys but its slowly growing popular,” says Ren.

On the Birsa Munda Stadium, regardless of the crew trailing 3-0 within the second half, the gamers’ households are attracting consideration too. Locals are queuing as much as take selfies with them and a few even take part on their ‘Ole’ chants.

Chile fights again within the final two quarters and comes near scoring a number of instances. Their anticipate a purpose involves an finish within the fiftieth minute when Ignacio Contardo slots his end into the web. The households soar up in unison and embrace one another being within the midst of the nation’s historic first.

Again down on the turf, on the full-time whistle, the Chilean gamers are given a rousing ovation from what’s now a near-full-capacity venue.

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For goal-scorer Contardo, who give up his job as a banker after Chile ensured World Cup qualification to concentrate on his hockey, that is the stuff of goals.

“It’s an amazing sensation. With a lot of people watching, to score… I am dreaming. I hope to wake up, I don’t know… later,” says the 28-year-old ahead.

The gamers and their households wouldn’t have the largest expectations of progressing past the group stage, which additionally entails the Netherlands and Malaysia. However for the subsequent week, no matter comes their approach on the World Cup will definitely be one thing that they may by no means have dreamt of.

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