Thursday, June 20, 2024

India women lift Asian Champions Trophy ahead of Olympic hockey qualifiers

India women’s captain Savita says her side “set the record straight” as they lifted the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy in Ranchi on Sunday night after a 4-0 victory over Japan.

India claimed the title for the second time and will now, in the same venue, aim to repeat their performance at upcoming Olympic qualifiers in January.

Savita said: “We came with a target. We wanted to set the record straight after the team fell short in the recent Asian Games. We wanted to claim the gold medal here, especially since it was being held in India for the first time. We always take it one game at a time in every tournament. This time, the whole team had a point to prove and I am glad we were able to do so.”

India faced China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand in the round-robin stage of the tournament and won all five games to finish on top of the table with 15 points. In the semi-final, India defeated Korea 2-0 to book a date with Japan in the final. 

The final against Japan saw Sangita Kumari, Neha, Lalremsiami, and Vandana Katariya score to ensure India’s massive win. Moreover, for their impressive performances Sangita Kumari, the highest goalscorer for India with six goals in the tournament, won the Rising Star of the Tournament Award.

Indian coach Janneke Schopman said: “We played some scintillating hockey. I am really pleased with the team’s decision-making on the field.

 “The players chose to try variations on penalty corners depending on the situation. Neha risked a referral in the first quarter but she was confident and all those decisions worked in our favour. I like to see the decision-makers taking ownership.

“We know we are good enough to qualify for the Paris Olympics and now it is just a matter of showing that you can perform at the same level again in the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers after two months.”

Total Hockey

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