Buenos Aires [Argentina], January 16 (ANI): Ahead of their first game of the Argentina tour, Indian women's hockey team skipper Rani Rampal said that it is a crucial tour for the side to test themselves before the Tokyo Olympics.
Indian women's hockey team will become the first of India's hockey teams to resume international matches as they play their first of eight matches scheduled during their tour of Argentina.
"I think this tour is really important for us in terms of resuming competitive hockey. We have a crucial year to look forward to, and with such matches against strong sides, we will be able to keep working hard towards our goal of preparing well for the Tokyo Olympics," expressed the 26-year-old in a Hockey India release.
"It has been a strange period for sportspeople around the world, but to be resuming doing what we love the most, it is the best feeling. On behalf of my team, I would like to thank and highlight the efforts of both Hockey India and the Argentine federation for having organised this tour for us. We are looking forward to testing ourselves against some strong teams, and also understanding where we stand at the moment," added the skipper.
Having been awarded with the prestigious Khel Ratna Award in the past year, Rani also added that she intends to keep working hard for the nation, and hopes to start this important year on a positive note.
"As they say, sport can bring a lot of joy to people across various spheres of life, and for me and my team, that puts a responsibility on our shoulders. We know what our aim is this year, and we want to make sure that we start the year in the perfect manner, put in some excellent performances, and build some momentum again," expressed the experienced forward.
"However, we also understand and take into consideration that we haven't played an international match with the maximum intensity in these past 9-10 months, and that we might take time to get back into our groove, and that is what this tour is all about," stated Rani, whose team faces the Argentine junior women's team on Sunday evening in the capital city.
The Indian team will kick-start their tour of Argentina with a match against the Argentine junior women's team at 02:00 hrs IST on Monday. (ANI)