India

Spain trip to be revealed ahead of Asian Games: Savita Punia

Spain trip to be revealed ahead of Asian Games: Savita Punia


Indian women’s hockey team captain Savitar believes the upcoming trip to Spain will not only help “identify areas that need immediate attention” but will also give young players a chance to prove themselves and break into the Asian Games squad.

India will have the chance to test their skills and team mix when they travel to Spain for the Spanish Hockey Federation’s 100th Anniversary International Championships, scheduled for July 25-30.

“This will be a crucial match for us as it will allow us to pinpoint areas that require immediate attention and require a collective effort to improve as a team,” Savita was quoted as saying in a Hockey India press release. .

The Four Nations tournament will see India take on South Africa, England and hosts Spain.
“We will be playing some top teams in the tournament, so in a way it will be a litmus test for us ahead of the Asian Games.”

The Asian Games, to be held in Hangzhou in September-October, are crucial, as winning a gold medal will earn the team direct qualification for next year’s Paris Olympics.

The youth team displayed virtuosity when they beat four-time champions South Korea 2-1 at the summit last week to clinch the first Asian Cup title for the Indian girls’ youth team.

Teenager Sunelita Toppo and others have been included in the 33-man core possible group for the Asian Games, which is currently sweating out the senior women’s national coaching camp at the SAI Camp in Bengaluru until July 11.

“Besides, now every player has to prove his ability in every training session and every game to get into the Asian Games.

“There are a lot of talented players in the youth squad, having recently won the Asian Cup, and they will be looking to get into the senior squad.

“Therefore, no player can take her place in the team for granted. Everyone has a chance to enter or break into the Asian Games team. I believe this kind of healthy competition for team seats will only make the team more intimidating .”

Referring to the ongoing national training camp, Savitar said the team is focusing on “perfecting the structure and tactics of the team”.

“We are currently focused on doing our best in every game in the national training camp, which is very important to us as it gives us the opportunity to refine the team’s structure and tactics ahead of the Asian Games.

“We know what our coach expects from us as a team and that definitely makes our task easier.”

Reflecting further on India’s performance during their recent trip to Australia, where they played five matches against the hosts, said Savita.

“In Australia we were not up to par in our first game, but that’s understandable considering we’re playing international hockey after a four-month gap. As a result, the team faced some difficulties in building synergy .

“Despite this, we have managed to hold our ground throughout the tour. This resilience has increasingly become a hallmark of our team.

“We are good at group play and fighting, which makes it a tough challenge for any opponent to beat us, which will be our biggest advantage at the Asian Games,” she added.

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