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Indian men's & women's hockey teams set their sights on Olympic Test Event
The Indian men's and women's hockey teams are ready to battle it out against the heavyweights of the sport at the upcoming Olympic Test Event which starts from August 17 in Tokyo, Japan at the Oi Hockey Stadium.
The Indian men's and women's hockey teams are ready to battle it out against the heavyweights of the sport at the upcoming Olympic Test Event which starts from August 17 in Tokyo, Japan at the Oi Hockey Stadium. The tournament will act as a preparatory ground prior to the FIH Olympics 2020 qualifiers. The winners of the FIH Olympic Qualifiers will secure their place in the highly-anticipated Tokyo Olympics 2020. Led by defender and drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh, the Indian Men's Hockey will go up against New Zealand, Malaysia and Japan. Led by defender and drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh, the World No. 5 Indian Men's Hockey will go up against World No. 8 New Zealand, World No. 12 Malaysia and World No. 16 Japan. However, with a few experienced players rested for the tournament, it will be an excellent opportunity for the upcoming players to prove their mettle.
The World No. 10 Indian Women's Team will have a comparatively tougher campaign at the Olympic Test Event as they face World No. 2 Australia, World No. 11 China and World No. 14 Japan. The biggest competitor for the side will be the highest-ranked Australian Team who they have not faced since their 0-1 loss in the Semi-Final of the Commonwealth Games 2018. However, Captain Rani believes that facing a big team before they take part in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers later this year will help the team in preparing well for the bigger challenges ahead. Indian women's team will have a comparatively tougher campaign at the Olympic test event
Speaking ahead of the tournament,men's skipper Harmanpreet Singh said, "We have a great opportunity to test a younger bunch of players in the matches against Malaysia, Japan and New Zealand. They are good teams to play against and we are now adjusting well to our Chief Coach's ideas. It will be a good test for us but we are well-prepared and will go into every match with the intent to win it. It is a huge responsibility to have been given the Captaincy, and I am looking forward to stepping up and delivering for the team."
"We have a great challenge in front of us at the Olympic Test Event, but we are pretty confident of doing well. We face Australia, China and Japan, and it will be a tough tournament. We have prepared well together as a unit, and the upcoming tournament will also help us with exposure against good teams. The journey to the Tokyo Olympics 2020 starts from here, and we will give our everything to win the tournament, and prepare to qualify for the Olympics," said Rani ahead of their first match against hosts Japan on Saturday.