Last updated on July 25, 2019
Bengaluru, 24 July 2019: With exactly one year for the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled from 24 July 2020 to 9 August 2020 with Hockey preliminary round events for men and women starting from 25 July 2020, the Indian Men and Women’s team are working towards ensuring they are part of the Indian contingent.
“We have a count down chart and we frequently remind ourselves in team meetings about how many days are left for the qualifying and how many days before the first hockey match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, we are on our toes to qualify,” said Manpreet Singh, Captain of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team.
This constant reminder also provides a boost for players to improve upon their individual game and ensure they are doing everything they can to contribute to the team’s goals. “It’s not just us players but the Coaching staff too remind us about days left for 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the goals we need to achieve ahead of this milestone event. We have set short timelines to work on our grey areas. We have set short-term goals which includes areas to work on in training, how we intend to play against a particular team at the upcoming event such as Olympic Test event, Belgium Tour and what implications this would have on the Qualifying event in November. We have mapped out every detail to ensure we do better than our previous best,” he said.
Another most important aspect is to take care of ourselves and avoid any kind of injuries. In this Olympic cycle we have had key players out of action for nearly 8-10 months and this is something we definitely want to avoid in this crucial year ahead,” added the midfielder who led the team to a win at the FIH Series Finals in Bhubaneswar in June.
Meanwhile, Indian Women’s Team Captain Rani said, “We have all made personal sacrifices to ensure the team is put ahead of everything else and we are working towards one goal which is to qualify for the Olympics. It’s very important for us to reinstate that qualifying for Rio Olympics was not a one-off incident and that hockey fans can expect the women’s team to create good results at major competitions.”
She further added that the recent success of fellow Indian women in other disciplines is an inspiration for her team to exceed expectations. “The recent performances of Hima Das and Dutee Chand proves that Indian women are rising to the occasion and are working towards making India a dominant contingent at the world level. Their performances inspires us too and these are athletes we are in touch with and we often end up sharing notes on our training and competitions. Its important to have such positive results in the build up to our qualification event and we are really hoping to play in front of a home crowd in November as the last time we played in India was in 2012 Olympic Qualifier in New Delhi,” Rani added.