Hockey

Rankings suggest Indian women have a good chance

If the world rankings are any indication, the Indian women's hockey team stands a good chance of qualifying for the London Olympics.

In the International Hockey Federation (FIH) rankings, India is 13th, a notch below South Africa. Other participating teams — Italy (19th), Canada (20th), Ukraine (26th) and Poland (28th) — in the qualifier are ranked below India.

“South Africa is the only team which is ranked above us. So, we have to break their strength. However, we cannot underestimate other teams,” said India coach C.R. Kumar during an interaction on Tuesday.

Kumar said the team had been working on different strategies for various teams. “We are giving optimum importance to every parameter.”

Kumar said the players who had been having problems with fitness during the Test series against Azerbaijan were in top shape now. “The team has regained its rhythm.”

Best chance

Experienced forward Jasjeet Kaur Handa, one of the five current players to have played in the Olympic qualifier in Kazan (Russia) four years ago, said this was the best chance for India to book a berth in the Games.

“Last time, there were tougher opponents like the USA and Belgium. It is easier this time and we are also playing at home,” said Jasjeet.

Jasjeet agreed that the major challenge for senior players in the side was to maintain their fitness.

“Experienced players are focusing on their fitness, while the youngsters are working on their skills,” she said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 5:03:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/rankings-suggest-indian-women-have-a-good-chance/article2869064.ece

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