Ranchi, October 26 : Hosts India will open their campaign against Thailand in the Jharkhand Women's Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi at the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh AstroTurf Hockey Stadium here on  Friday 

Besides, India and Thailand ,other teams taking part in this highly anticipated tournament are , China, Japan, Korea and , Malaysia,  are all geared up to compete. As per the tournament format, each of the six teams will engage in five matches during the round-robin stage before the top four teams advance to the Semi-Finals. 

While the defending champions, Japan, and the Gold medallists of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou will undoubtedly draw attention, India is also a strong contender for the title. Fresh from their performance in Hangzhou, where they secured a Bronze medal, India, under the leadership of Savita, is eager to embark on a strong campaign. 

"In tournaments like these, no team can be taken lightly. We are looking forward to these matches as they will help us test our mettle against some of the most formidable teams in Asia. Of course, we want to win every match and perform well here, preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympics Qualifiers, which will also be hosted in Ranchi. This tournament serves as a vital preparatory test before the ultimate challenge of securing an Olympic berth."  said skipper Savita

Supporting the captain's perspective, Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said, "Playing these matches ahead of the Olympics Qualifiers is a great opportunity. It allows us to study the other teams and assess how players perform their assigned roles. Our recent performances in the Asian Games were promising, and I am excited and eager to see our team in action." 

India will ply their second match against Malaysia on Saturday. They will face China in their third match on Monday, , and then compete against Japan on Tuesday,  The team's final pool match will be against Korea on Thursday,  which will be followed by the knockout stage games. 

India are aiming to secure their second Women's Asian Champions Trophy title, with previous victories in 2016. They were runners-up in the 2013 and 2018 editions and secured a third-place finish in 2010. 

The Women’s Asian Champions Trophy, a prestigious event in the Asian Hockey calendar, is being hosted in India for the first time. The home crowd's fervent support will undoubtedly boost India's confidence as they strive to add this prestigious title to their collection. 

HSB

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