BENGALURU: Indian hockey teams for men and women are sweating here in preparation for the Olympic qualifiers scheduled for November.
Tokyo: Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams will fight with some of the best teams in the world during the next Olympic test event, which begins on August 17 here at the Oi hockey stadium. Both teams will play in the Olympic test event as part of their preparations for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, which will be held in November 2019.
The coaches and captains sounded optimistic about the prospects of the two teams in the qualifiers, scheduled to be held in Bhubaneshwar on November 1 and 2, for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Speaking about the preparations, now in progress at the center of the Indian Sports Authority (SAI) here, the women’s team captain, Rani Rampal, said the players have prepared well.
While the women’s team faces a complicated opponent in the USA. UU., The men’s team will face a lower-ranking Russia.
Our team is very well prepared for the match. We are focusing on how to perform well. Our focus is not on the US team. UU., But in us, how well he performs, he told PTI on Tuesday.
Rampal said the physical condition of the team members was beyond anyone’s imagination, which will help them face any rival side in the world.
She said the team had focused on playing with much more coordination.
We have been playing together for quite some time and now we also have to implement coordination in the match, he added.
The men’s hockey team is also working hard for the draw against Russia.
Captain Manpreet Singh Pawar told PTI that, as part of the preparation, the team will go to Belgium to play some games against world number 2.
First we have to play with Belgium and then there is a qualifying round, because we should not underestimate Russia too because they have a very good defense. They also want to qualify for the Olympic Games, he said.
Coaches are also excited about the events scheduled until November.
The head coach of the men’s and women’s teams, respectively, Graham Reid and Sjoerd Marijne look forward to the qualifiers.
We will prepare for these games as we prepare for the Olympic Games. So, we expect a good challenge for us, Reid said.
He emphasized that playing World No. 2 in Belgium will help them improve their performance before the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
We have created a good momentum with this young team and I am satisfied with how concentrated this unit has been. They are committed to achieving the Olympic Classification and in that search we continue to emphasize on improving our defense and work on creating quality opportunities in the circle during this ongoing camp.
“We have a great challenge in front of us in the Olympic test event, but we are quite sure to do well. We face Australia, China and Japan. It will be a difficult tournament, but we know we can beat any team in the world,” he said. Rani
“I think that training and playing against some of the best competitions (Belgium) in the world will give us a good platform for the qualifiers.”
Marijne expressed satisfaction with the aptitude of the girls.
The physical condition of the girls has improved significantly. They are very fit. It has been a long process but now we are where we want to be, Marijne said.
“We have prepared well together as a unit, and the next tournament will also help us expose ourselves against good teams. The trip to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics starts from here, and we will do everything to win the tournament and prepare to qualify for the Games Olympians, “Rani added. The Olympic Test event is scheduled for August 17-21.