Coach upbeat on India's chances in Youth Olympic qualifiers
Mumbai, Nov 24 (PTI) The Indian U-17 girls' team will compete at the 12-team Asian Qualifier for the Youth Olympic Games Rugby Sevens Championship to be held at the Dubai Sports City this month-end.
The winners of the championship, to be held on November 29 and 30, would qualify for next year's Summer Youth Olympic Games scheduled in Argentina from October 6-18.
Mike Friday, head coach of the USA men's rugby 7s team, will be with the Indian squad, to be announced tomorrow, as its consultant-cum-trainer, it was announced at a media conference today at the Bombay Gymkhana.
US coach Friday was satisfied with the bunch of girls who have been training with him for the past couple of days.
"The girls are all enthusiastic in training and with lots of energy. They are taking a lot of pride to represent the country and are looking forward to the challenge ahead," he told reporters on the sidelines of the training session.
"The Indian girls are not the biggest - they are small built, but have a big heart and are courageous. They also have the self-confidence and self-belief and they will perform to their potential," the American coach remarked.
The Indian girls are grouped in Pool A with Japan and Laos and the top two teams will make it to the quarters.
Kazakhstan, Iran, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, China, Thailand, Malaysia and hosts UAE are the other nations who will vie for the lone berth from Asia.
The Indian junior girls are preparing for this tournament since past one year with most of them having taken part in the inaugural Asian U18 Girls Rugby 7s held late last year in the Dubai Sports City. They won the bronze beating Sri Lanka.
The team also participated and finished fifth in the under 18 category of the Paris World Games 2017 held in France in July