New Delhi [India]: Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams on Thursday reached the national capital after winning the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo.
Men’s team thrashed the New Zealand 5-0 in the final of the tournament on August 21. Whereas women’s team defeated the host Japan 2-1 to lift the title of the Olympic Test Event.
After arriving in India, men’s skipper Harmanpreet Singh told ANI: “It was a great win before the Olympics Qualifier as we played on the same ground on which Olympics is going to be played.”
“Before heading to the tournament it was confirmed that we will play for a medal as we are going to face the same teams in the Olympics Qualifiers,” he added.
Indian men’s team played three matches in the league stage of the Olympic Test Event and only lost to New Zealand. But in the final of the tournament, they trounced New Zealand 5-0 to lift the title.
“We played well in the tournament and we are hopeful that we perform well in the Olympics Qualifiers so that we can play for medal in the Olympics,” Harmanpreet concluded.
India will play a qualification tournament to get a berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Indian men’s team head coach Graham Reid said: “It was the good opportunity for us to try some of the young players to see how they are going.”
“India lacks in the consistency and I’m confident that this team can change it. Our first step is to get to the Olympics qualification and I believe this team has the potential to qualify,” he added.
Indian women’s team also played three league matches in the group stage and won one, while other two matches ended at draw.
The women’s team will also play a qualification tournament to find a spot in the Olympics.
Indian women’s team captain Rani Rampal said: ” It was a great experience to play in the tournament just before the one year of the Olympics. Our team performed consistently in the event. The other three teams Japan, China, and Australia were very good. I think the team is heading to th eright direction ahead of the Olympics Qualification.”
“We learn a lot from each competition and we need improvement after every tournament. As a captain I believe that the team is more fit and strong and can compete with any team,” she added.
Indian team defeated Japan in the final of The Olympic test Event to clinh the tournament.
“I think it is very difficult to perform consistently as other teams are also there to win. After the Rio Olympics we have improved ourselves day by day. I’m hoping that we perform well in the Qualification round,” Rani concluded.