India women’s hockey team leave for Korea; Savita to lead at Asian Champions Trophy

Bengaluru :India women’s hockey team on Tuesday left for Donghae, Korea to compete at the Asian Champions Trophy tournament, which is scheduled between December 5-12.

The tournament will see the 2018 runners-up India up against China, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia in a single-pool competition.

India are slated to play against Thailand in their opening fixture on December 5, followed by Malaysia on December 6, hosts and defending Champions Korea in their third match on December 8. India will then meet China on December 9 and Japan on December 11.

The final will take place on December 12 between the topper of the pool and the team that finished second in the pool.

In the absence of skipper Rani Rampal, who is undergoing rehab in Bengaluru, goalkeeper Savita Punia will lead the Indian contingent.

“Definitely the whole team is excited. This is our first tournament after the Olympics and we have a responsibility to do well at the tournament. We have quite a few youngsters who are part of the team and will be making their international debut, they are also looking forward to this exposure,” Savita said.

“No doubt, we go in as a top ranked team but we don’t want that reputation to create any added pressure. We just want to stick to our basics and ensure whatever we have planned is executed properly. A team like Korea is difficult to beat at home and last edition too we lost to them closely in the final and this time too I expect them to challenge us,” she added.

Meanwhile, vice-captain Deep Grace Ekka stated that the team can’t rest on their laurels of doing well in the Olympics. She emphasized that this will be a fresh start to their season ahead.

“We can’t be complacent about exceeding expectations in Tokyo. The Asian Champions Trophy will be a fresh start and doing well here will be a good ahead of a busy season next year,” the experienced defender said.

Related posts