India women’s hockey team captain Savita Punia said that the team had a point to prove after the Asian Games loss. India were crowned winners of the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy on Sunday.
A month after going down to host China 0-4 in the semi-final of the Asian Games, India remained undefeated in the Champions Trophy, bagging seven wins on the trot.
The Women in Blue convincingly defeated Japan 4-0 in the final to bag their second continental title. Speaking on what propped up the team’s performance in the last month, Savita Punia said:
“We came with a target. We wanted to set the record straight after the team fell short in the recent Asian Games. We wanted to claim the Gold medal here, especially since it was being held in India for the first time.”
“We always take it one game at a time in every tournament. This time, the whole team had a point to prove and I am glad we were able to do so.”
India netted 27 goals in the six-team event while conceding just two at the receiving end. Speaking on the style of play of the team, Savita commented:
“The team played a lot of attacking hockey. We took the initiative as we have the players suited for it and everyone gave their best to make sure we stand on top of the podium. The aim has always been to bring our performances from practice to the pitch.”
India to play hockey qualifiers in January 2024 with an aim of securing the Paris Olympics berth
India will have to play the FIH Hockey Olympics Qualifiers in Ranchi in January next year. The team won bronze in the Asian Games, where only the gold medallist (China) earned a direct entry to the Paris Olympics 2024.
Savita Punia’s team will compete against Japan, New Zealand, United States, Germany, Chile, Italy, and Czech Republic in one of the two 8-team groups scheduled to play the qualifiers in Ranchi between January 13 and January 21. The top three teams from each group will confirm their place in the Paris Olympics.