Ranchi: The Indian women’s hockey team is focussing on sharpening skills and synchronizing movements of its forwards to form a potent attacking force in its bid to clinch an Olympic berth in the qualifying tournament beginning here Saturday, striker Lalremsiami Hmarzote said on Thursday.
The top three teams in the eight-country tournament, to be played between January 13 and 19, will qualify for the Paris Olympics this year.
Lalremsiami highlighted the team’s meticulous approach towards fine-turning the forward line dynamics.
“Our preparations have centred on fortifying our forward line. We’ve dedicated ourselves to enhancing our coordination, sharpening our skills, and synchronizing our movements to create a potent attacking force,” she said.
“We’re entering the tournament with a sense of preparedness and eagerness to execute our plans effectively. Our focus remains on optimizing our forward line capabilities to secure our place at the Paris Olympics.” With a focus on precision, timing and adaptability, Lalremsiami emphasized them as the common goal within the forward line.
“Each member brings a unique skill set to the turf, and our collective goal is to seamlessly blend our strengths to create impactful opportunities during the tournament,” said Lalremsiami who was part of the Indian team that won a bronze medal in the Hangzhou Asian Games last year.
“Every training session has been instrumental in fine-tuning our strategies and understanding each other’s playing styles. We’re driven by a shared determination to make a difference on the field and contribute significantly to the team’s success.” Speaking in the pre-tournament press conference on Thursday, captain Savita Punia also said the team would look to play an attacking brand of hockey.
“Our strength is attacking though we are also good at defending. We will do just that in upcoming matches,” Savita said.
India are placed in Pool B alongside New Zealand, Italy, and the United States, while world No. 5 Germany, former Asian Games Champions Japan, Chile and Czech Republic are in Pool A.
India will kick off their campaign against the USA on Saturday, before facing New Zealand (January 14) and Italy (January 16). The semi-finals will be played on January 18 and the final on January 19.