New Delhi,21 September: " Our target is to qualify for the Paris Olympics," said Indian Women's Hockey Team captain Savita adding " for that we will have to top the podium at Hangzhou Asiad.
" We have some tough teams in our pool but we are well prepared to face them:" the captain said before the team's departure for Hangzhou.
India is placed in Pool A along with Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong China and Singapore and will open their campaign at the prestigious event against Singapore on 27 September
Meanwhile, Japan, China, Thailand, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia are placed in Pool B. The top two teams from each Pool will qualify for
"We have had a long and strenuous where we worked on all the areas where we need to improve." She said.
"We have formulated our strategies as per our strengths and we have studied our opponents as well, thoroughly to understand their styles of play. We hope to have a good tournament and get positive results. Our target is to qualify for the Paris Olympics and so we are aware of the importance of the tournament and what we need to do to achieve our goals."She added
The women's team includes goalkeepers Savita and Bichu Devi Kharibam. Deep Grace Ekka, Ishika Chaudhary, Nikki Pradhan, and Udita form the defence line, while Sushila Chanu, Monika, Navneet Kaur, Neha, Nisha, Salima Tete, Sonika, and Vaishnavi Vittal Phalke constitute India's midfield. Deepika, Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari, and Vandana Katariya have been included in the team as forwards.
Vice-Captain Deep Grace Ekka talked about the team's composition saying. "The good thing for us is that we have a blend of experience and youth among our ranks. All the players are eager to display their best, and are in their best frame of mind to showcase their talents on the field,”
"We know we have some strong teams in our pool, but all of us see this as an opportunity to showcase how much we have grown as a team and individuals over the past year. We know we would have to adjust to the surroundings quickly, and we are prepared to do that to ensure we can completely focus on our game," she added.
India will face Singapore on 27th September before taking on Malaysia on 29th September, Korea on 1st October and Hong Kong China on 3rd October in pool matches.