Coaches promise better showing by Indian hockey teams at Tokyo
New Delhi, July 17, 2021
Indian men's and women's hockey team coaches on Saturday promised better showing at the Tokyo Olympics and hoped that players will live up to the expectations of the millions of their fans back home.
On the eve of their departure for Tokyo, Men's Team Chief Coach Graham Reid said, "As I have always said, our aim will be to perform best hockey match by match. The team is mentally prepared to face the challenges on and off the field at the Games.
"The team is absolutely excited. They have all worked really hard for this moment and it is time to convert the sacrifices made over the last couple of months and years into desirable results," he said.
Before taking off, Reid expressed his gratitude towards the staff at SAI Bengaluru, Sports Authority of India and Hockey India "who ensured we got everything needed in the last 15 months while training in a bio-bubble.
The Manpreet Singh-led team will open their campaign on 24th July against New Zealand in their Pool A match.
Their second match is against Australia on 25th July, followed by Spain on 27th July, Olympic Champions Argentina on 29th July and hosts Japan on 30th July.
Complementing Reid's views, Women's Coach Sjoerd Marijne said, "This team is really special. They are very strong mentally and I believe this will be one of our assets when we take on big teams in Tokyo. We are geared up for the challenge."
"I think one of the first big challenges for the team upon arrival in Tokyo will be to get acclimatized as Bengaluru weather was very pleasant these past few weeks.
"Although we mostly trained around noon to work under the sun, Tokyo weather will be humid and challenging. No matter the hurdles we may face, the team is optimistic about having a good tournament," Marijne said.
The Rani Rampaul-led side will face the World No. 1 Netherlands in their first Pool A match on 24th July. In their second match, India will take on Germany on 26th July followed by Great Britain on 28th July and Ireland on 30th July. Their last league match is against South Africa on 31st July.