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Euros will be perfect preparation for Tokyo Olympics: Katie Mullan

 

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Euro vision: Katie Mullan

Euro vision: Katie Mullan

�INPHO/Joe Toth

Euro vision: Katie Mullan

Two more tournaments which were to have featured Ireland's men and women have been put on hold - but, for once, the Covid-19 pandemic isn't to blame.

The inaugural Continental Cup was to have taken place in the first half of 2021 but the eight-team tournaments have now been postponed for a year.

The incentive was plain to see as the respective Continental Cup winners would have been promoted to the top flight of international hockey to replace the bottom team in the elite Pro League.

Ironically, with virtually all hockey halted since March due to the virus, the main reason the events are now on the back burner is that there is already a fixture glut on next year's provisional calendar.

The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics for a year has, for example, had an impact on the schedule as 12 national teams, including Ireland's women, prepare for the showpiece.

The European Championship was originally to have taken place after the Olympics but it has been brought forward to June, as have several other continental tournaments to allow teams to properly prepare for Tokyo.

While the postponement of the Continental Cup will deny Ireland  the chance to much welcome play additional fixtures, captain Katie Mullan believes the Euros will provide perfect preparation.

She  said: "The Europeans has probably the highest quality of all the continental games in hockey just because there's so many top teams within Europe, so I think it's a brilliant opportunity for all of those teams to go to the tournament and really perform at the top level so close to the Olympics."

Belfast Telegraph