Good present in opposition to Argentina will increase our confidence: Rani

New Delhi, January 1

Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal feels that a good show in the series against Argentina will boost her side’s confidence heading into this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

India will hit the restart button and begin their Olympics preparations with the tour of Argentina, starting next week, almost a year after their calendar was disrupted by Covid-19 pandemic.

“If we play to our potential against Argentina, then we will gain a lot of confidence for the all-important Olympics, where we are aiming for nothing short of a medal,” Rani said.

“Hopefully, we can make history in Tokyo and make our country proud. We are going to give our absolute best in every match we play this year,” she added.

India will compete in eight matches against hosts Argentina, from January 17 to 31.

“We are very excited to make our return to the international circuit. The year 2020 was really tough for us. However, we continued to practice at the national coaching camp.”

The skipper is looking forward to seeing how her teammates respond in match situations after a long break.

“All the players in the team are feeling very confident about their game and it will be interesting to see how each one of them performs in a match situation after staying away from the international circuit for almost one year,” she said.

While the women’s team is gearing up for their next assignment, Hockey India has been in talks with different nations to also organise a tour for the men’s team, which played its last international match against Australia on February 22 last year in the FIH Hockey Pro League.

“We are very excited about getting back into the international circuit. We are really looking forward to playing against an international team before the Olympics,” India skipper Manpreet Singh said.

“A few matches against a good team will help us prepare for the Olympics. This year is very important for us. We have practised very hard in the last few months and have raised our game to a level that is close to what we usually operate in international games. If we play to our potential at the Olympics, then we will surely bring glory to our country. We have to go into the Olympics with a mindset of clinching a medal,” he added. — PTI

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