Asian Champions Trophy: Indian Women’s Hockey Team Eye Another Win
Defending champions India will begin their campaign in the 5th Asian Women's Champions Trophy hockey tournament against Japan on 13 May at the Donghae City in South Korea.
The other teams in the fray are China, Malaysia and hosts Korea.
“After having won the title in 2016 followed by the Asia Cup victory in 2017, we want to make this yet another memorable event,” defender Sunita Lakra said before team's departure.
“Though we believe we could have returned home with a medal, we did well against teams like Australia and England. We will be carrying this confidence into the Asian Champions Trophy which will help us understand where we stand ahead of the much-important Asian Games in Jakarta,” Lakra added.
The team will be missing the experience of captain Rani Rampal, forward Poonam Rani and defender Sushila Chanu, who have been rested, but Lakra believes this won't deter the team's target of defending the title.
“Yes, they will be missed but the team is a good mix of experience and youth. The younger players have had good international exposure over the past year and have played together for a while.
"We understand each other's strengths and weaknesses, and this is also a good platform for youngsters to show their game ahead of the World Cup and Asian Games. The team has had good preparations in SAI, Bengaluru over the past three weeks and we are confident of a good show,” Lakra said.
India had first won the Asian Champions Trophy title in 2016 after defeating China 2-1 in the final.