Defending Champions Korea, runners up Japan promise better showing in Hero Asian Champions Trophy
Chennai, 31st July, 2023
Admitting that the Hero Asian Hockey Champions Trophy is crucial for them as the preparatory event for the Asian Games, defending Champions Korea and runners up, Japan on Monday promised to give their best in the tournament.
The two East Asian teams arrived last night to a warm welcome at the Chennai International Airport. While Korea is eyeing to retain the title, Japan’s best finish has been a Silver Medal in the 2021 edition of the tournament.
The Hero Asian Champions Trophy will take place at the iconic Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Egmore from 3rd August to 12th August. Other teams taking part in the tournament are , Malaysia, Pakistan, China, , and hosts India.
Korea will be up against Japan in the tournament opener on 3rd August.
Talking about the tournament, Korea’s Head Coach Seok Kyo Shin said, “This tournament is crucial for us as it will serve as the preparatory event for the upcoming Asian Games, through which we are targeting a berth in the Paris Olympics next year. We are aiming to give our best in the Asian Champions Trophy.”
Korea’s Captain Nam Yong Lee talked about the team’s preparations and said, “We recently toured Europe for friendly games, which helped us in preparing for the Asian Champions Trophy.” He added, “The team is looking forward to playing against India as the hosts have many quality players.”
About the weather conditions in Chennai, Lee said, “I am coming to Chennai for the second time as I last came here in 2007 for the Asia Cup, so I am pretty aware of the weather conditions in the city. Also, the climate here is pretty similar to that of South Korea, where it's also hot.”
Meanwhile, Japan, after finishing second in the previous edition of the tournament, will be eyeing to go all the way in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 and clinch their maiden title in the history of the tournament.
“I am very happy to be part of this tournament in Chennai. We are very excited and we’ll give our best in the competition. Also, I think the weather is very hot in the city, but that won’t make much difference as the climate is similar in Japan. Hence, we won’t have any trouble getting acclimated to the weather conditions here. We are looking forward to playing against the Indian team as they have a strong side,” said Coach Akira Takahashi.
About the team’s preparations, Takahashi commented, “We have fine-tuned our defence and attack structures, and we hope to play according to that in the tournament and also implement our new strategies. Our target is to at least reach the final of the competition.”