Hosts India eye redemption from Hangzhou disappointment in Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2023
The Indian women’s hockey team will face Thailand in their opening match.
The highly anticipated Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2023 is just around the corner, set to kick off on Friday, with thousands of eager hockey enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the thrilling moments of this 10-day extravaganza, scheduled to take place at the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh AstroTurf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, where the atmosphere is electric.
Fans have already started converging at the stadium in the run-up to the event, hoping to catch a glimpse of their beloved hockey idols.
A total of six teams, including India, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand, are all geared up to compete. As per the tournament format, each of the six teams will engage in five matches during the round-robin stage before the top four teams advance to the Semi-Finals.
While the defending champions, Japan, and the gold medallists of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou 2022, China, will undoubtedly draw attention. The Indian women’s hockey team are also coming in as the favorites for the title. Fresh from their performance in Hangzhou, where they secured a bronze medal, India, under the leadership of Savita, is eager to embark on a strong campaign.
Indian women’s hockey team captain, Savita, emphasized the significance of these matches and stated, “In tournaments like these, no team can be taken lightly. We are looking forward to these matches as they will help us test our mettle against some of the most formidable teams in Asia.
“Of course, we want to win every match and perform well here, preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympics Qualifiers, which will also be hosted in Ranchi. This tournament serves as a vital preparatory test before the ultimate challenge of securing an Olympic berth.”
Supporting the captain’s perspective, chief coach Janneke Schopman said, “Playing these matches ahead of the Olympics Qualifiers is a great opportunity. It allows us to study the other teams and assess how players perform their assigned roles. Our recent performances in the Asian Games were promising, and I am excited and eager to see our team in action.”
India’s journey in the tournament begins with a match against Thailand on Friday (October 27) followed by a clash with Malaysia on Saturday (October 28). Subsequently, they will face China in their third match on Monday (October 30) and then compete against Japan on Tuesday (October 31). The team’s final pool match will be against Korea on Thursday (November 2) which will be followed by the knockout stage games.
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India aim to secure their second Women’s Asian Champions Trophy title, with previous title victory coming in 2016. They were runners-up in the 2013 and 2018 editions and secured a third-place finish in 2010.
The Women’s Asian Champions Trophy, a prestigious event in the Asian Hockey calendar, is being hosted in India for the first time. The home crowd’s fervent support will undoubtedly boost India’s confidence as they strive to add this prestigious title to their collection. Fans will be cheering enthusiastically, creating an unforgettable atmosphere.