The Indian women's hockey team left for Donghae, Korea, to participate in the Asian Champions Trophy. This is the first international tournament for the Indian women's hockey team after the Tokyo Olympics.
The Asian Champions Trophy commences in Donghae, Korea, on December 5. The single-pool competition will see India, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia compete for the top honors.
The Indian team will open their Asian Champions Trophy campaign with a match against Thailand on December 5. The Indian women's hockey team will then play Malaysia on December 6 and hosts and defending champions Korea in their third match on December 8.
India will then take on China on December 9 and culminate their league engagements on December 11 against Japan. The top two teams in the points table will play in the final on December 12.
Savita Punia leads Indian team for Asian Champions Trophy
Hockey India have appointed ace goalkeeper Savita Punia as the captain of the Indian women's hockey team for the Asian Champions Trophy.
The team's original skipper Rani Rampal is undergoing rehab at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Center in Bengaluru.
In a statement, Savita Punia said the entire Indian team is excited to be back on the competitive field after the Olympics. She said:
"The whole team is excited. This is our first tournament after the Olympics and we have a responsibility to do well at the tournament. We have a few youngsters who are part of the team and will be making their international debut and they are also looking forward to this exposure."
The Indian women's hockey team enter the Asian Champions Trophy as the top-ranked team and Savita Punia opined that it wouldn't change much for the team as they are focussed on playing good hockey.
"We go in as a top-ranked team but we don't want that reputation to create any added pressure. We just want to stick to our basics and ensure whatever we have planned is executed properly. A team like Korea is difficult to beat at home and last edition too we lost to them in the final in a close match and this time too I expect them to challenge us."
The Indian women's hockey team's vice-captain Deep Grace Ekka stated that the team can't rest on their laurels of doing well in the Olympics. She emphasized that this will be a fresh start to their season ahead. She said:
"We can't be complacent about exceeding expectations in Tokyo. The Asian Champions Trophy will be a fresh start and doing well here will be a good ahead of a busy season next year."