Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], September 20 (ANI): The Indian Women's Hockey Team on Wednesday left from Bengaluru airport for Hangzhou, China for the upcoming 19th Asian Games .
India are placed in Pool A along with Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore and will open their campaign at the prestigious event against Singapore on September 27.
Meanwhile, Japan, China, Thailand, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia are placed in Pool B. The top two teams from each Pool will qualify for the Semi-Finals.
The Indian Women's Hockey Team will once again be led by Savita, with Deep Grace Ekka as her deputy.
Speaking ahead of the team's departure, Captain Savita opened up on the team's expectations from the tournament.
"We have had a long and strenuous National Camp where we worked on all the areas where we need to improve. We have formulated our strategies as per our strengths and we have studied our opponents as well, thoroughly to understand their styles of play. We hope to have a good tournament and get positive results. Our target is to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics and so we are aware of the importance of the tournament and what we need to do to achieve our goals," she said in Hockey India's press release.
The women's team includes goalkeepers Savita (Captain) and Bichu Devi Kharibam. Deep Grace Ekka, Ishika Chaudhary, Nikki Pradhan, and Udita form the defence line, while Sushila Chanu, Monika, Navneet Kaur, Neha, Nisha, Salima Tete, Sonika, and Vaishnavi Vittal Phalke constitute India's midfield. Deepika, Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari, and Vandana Katariya have been included in the team as forwards.
Meanwhile, Vice-Captain Deep Grace Ekka also spoke on the team's composition and mood in the camp ahead of the departure.
"The good thing for us is that we have a blend of experience and youth among our ranks. All the players are eager to display their best, and are in their best frame of mind to showcase their talents on the field," she said.
"We know we have some strong teams in our pool, but all of us see this as an opportunity to showcase how much we have grown as a team and individuals over the past year. We know we would have to adjust to the surroundings quickly, and we are prepared to do that to ensure we can completely focus on our game," she added.
India will face Singapore on September 27 before taking on Malaysia on September 29, Korea on October 1 and Hong Kong on October 3.
Schedule of the Indian Women's Hockey Team:On 27th September 2023, India vs Singapore at 1015 hrs ISTOn 29th September 2023, Malaysia vs India at 1600 hrs ISTOn 1st October 2023, Korea vs India at 1330 hrs ISTOn 3rd October 2023, India vs Hong Kong at 0745 hrs IST. (ANI)