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Qualifying for Junior Women's World Cup is our main aim in 2021: Defender Mahima Choudhary
New Delhi, December 23, 2020
Qualifying for the Junior Women's World Cup is our main aim in 2021 and we are focused on it, said talented defender Mahima Choudhary.
The Junior Women's World Cup scheduled for December 5-16, 2021 will be held in Potchefstroom, South Africa. In addition to South Africa who qualify automatically as hosts, 15 other teams will qualify from five separate continental competitions.
"What happened in 2020 is behind us now. We don't want to think about what we missed out due to the pandemic but we want to look ahead to 2021 with optimism. And one of the main tasks is to qualify for the World Cup," Choudhary told Hockey India in Bengaluru.
"It is a crucial year for us with the Junior World Cup being held in December for which we will need to qualify by winning the Junior Asia Cup scheduled to be held in April, 2021. That will be our first goal for 2021," she said
"We are happy to be back in the National Camp and train in a bio-secure environment. We are slowly getting back to our previous rhythm and are mentally and physically focused on doing well at the Junior Asia Cup.
"In the previous edition of the Junior Asia Cup in 2015, India had finished 4th. We want to better the result this time by finishing on the podium and securing a qualification for the FIH Junior World Cup," she said.
Training in the same campus as their senior counterparts, Choudhary feels there is a lot to watch and learn from the work ethics of the seniors.
"Over the past couple of years, the Senior Team has set the benchmark high for us to emulate. Having succeeded in continental championships and improving their world ranking, too, they have inspired us all along. Getting to watch them train closely as we are housed in the same campus is a big learning experience for all of us in the Junior Core Group," she said.
According to Choudhary, the work ethics of some of the senior players is awe-inspiring and "I feel a great sense of motivation to improve my own performance when I watch them train."
Sharmila , her teammate from her club side in Sonepat, Haryana, has already made it to the senior side. Mahima is confident of making it to the senior team in future but for now she is focused on doing well for the junior team.
"Yes, Sharmila came into the Junior Core Group two years after me and now she already plays for the Senior Team. I am happy for her. Hard work and good performance gets due recognition and I believe my time will come too. I just need to be patient and work hard on my own game and execute what's expected of me," she added.