The Tokyo Olympics are all set to take place from July 23. Aiming to bring back the glory, the national hockey teams (men and women) joined the rest of the Olympics bound delegation in New Delhi to take off for Tokyo on late Saturday.
The men’s team is under the captainship of Manpreet Singh Sandhu, while Rani will lead the women’s national team.
Graham Reid, chief coach of India’s men hockey team, shared how excited the team is to perform their best on the podium. “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 in Tokyo,” expressed Reid, as quoted by The New Indian Express.
“As I have always said, our aim will be to perform best match-by-match. The team is mentally prepared to face the challenges on and off the field in Tokyo,” he added further.
In their first Pool A match team India will face New Zealand on July 24, then take on Australia on July 25. The series will continue with matches against Spain on July 27 and Olympic Champions Argentina on July 29 and host Japan on July 30.
“As we leave Bengaluru, we are filled with 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. Hockey India and SAI have been a huge support in our preparations,” Reid said before departing for Delhi from Bengaluru.
On the other hand, women’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne agreed with Reid as she was quoted saying, “It was quite emotional for us when we had our last training session yesterday (Friday) in SAI, Bengaluru. This group 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.”
Earlier on a virtual meet, Capt. Manpreet shared with PM Narendra Modi how dedicatedly team India is preparing itself to bring back the glory to the sport. The clip of their conversation was shared on PM’s Twitter handle and later retweeted by TheHockeyIndia. See here: