Tokyo (Japan), July 23 (ANI): After appearing in the Olympics for the first time in 36 years at the Rio Games in 2016, the Indian women's hockey team is all set for the first time in history to take part in their second consecutive Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Indian team will be up against World No.1, the Netherlands at the Oi Hockey Stadium on Friday. Following the disappointing performance in Rio, the Indian team has only grown from strength to strength, winning the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy, 2017 Asia Cup, the Silver medal at the 2018 Asian Games and reaching the quarter finals of the 2018 Women's World Cup for the first time in history.
The Indian women's hockey team also showed their mettle at the FIH Women's Series Finals Hiroshima 2019 when they defeated Japan 3-1 to win the gold medal and also when they defeated USA in the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2019 to book a place in the Tokyo Olympics.
Indian women's hockey team captain Rani expressed the side's excitement ahead of their Olympic encounter, "It's very exciting to be here in Tokyo. We have worked very hard for this tournament in the last five years, and we can't wait for it to start. It's been a long wait for the Tokyo Games, and we are glad that we are just one day away from our first match. All players are looking good during the practice sessions, and we are very confident about our chances in this competition."
Following their first Pool A match against the Netherlands, India will take on Germany (July 26), Great Britain (July 28), Ireland (July 30) and South Africa (July 31) before the knockout stage, which begins on August 2.
Speaking about the national team's first Tokyo Games match, Indian women's chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said, "The Olympics is the biggest of all tournaments and our team is raring to go. The players have put in all the hard yards and now it's all about going out on the field and giving it their best. This team has played well against the top sides in the recent past and therefore the confidence level in the group is high. We are going to take it one match at a time and try to keep improving with each match." (ANI)