Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju expressed his confidence in the Indian men's and women's hockey teams in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2021. The Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled to be held this year, got postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A year ago, the Indian men's and women's hockey teams secured their Olympic berths in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers held in Bhubaneswar. While the Manpreet Singh-led men's side defeated Russia in a one-sided encounter 11-3, the women's team led by Rani Rampal edged USA 6-5.
Teams provided with top facilities ahead of Tokyo Olympics: Kiren Rijiju
Retweeting Hockey India's tweet, Rijiju stated that he is hopeful of both men's and women's teams doing well. He also added that the teams have been provided with top facilities to enhance their training in the lead up to the mega event.
I’m saying it with full confidence and hopeful that both men’s and women’s hockey team will do well in Tokyo Olympics. Our boys and girls are really working very hard. We are providing them with top facilities and best support systems.
Earlier, the women's team captain Rani Rampal said in an interview that the team has mentally evolved after the FIH Olympic Qualifiers and they are ready to take on the top-ranked teams like Netherlands and Germany at the Tokyo Olympics.
The same team, maybe three-four years ago, put in that same situation (as the second match in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers) may have given up. But now we are stronger mentally and that will be our strength when we meet teams like Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain etc at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The teams resumed their training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) center in Bengaluru. SAI has announced that the camp will go on till late November for the men's team while the women's team will be training till the second week of December.