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Women's Hockey Team All Set For Ranchi Test to Qualify for Paris Olympics

The Indian women's hockey team are vying to finish in the top 3 of FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers.

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Hockey
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Hindi Female

With the new year rolling in, the countdown is truly on for the Paris Olympics this summer and getting things rolling will be the Indian women's hockey team that compete in the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Ranchi to grab one of the top 3 positions that bring with it a ticket to Paris.

The teams in the fray include reigning World No. 5 Germany, former Asian Games Champions Japan, Chile and Czech Republic grouped in pool A while hosts India are grouped in pool B along with United States, New Zealand and Italy.

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The venue Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Astro Turf is abuzz with activities, with participating teams trickling into the city and testing their mettle on the ground that recently hosted the Women's Asian Champions Trophy where Savita-led India bagged the top honours.

Carrying forward the confidence from that event, India are geared up to give it their all in the do-or-die tournament. Captain Savita elaborates: "The team is motivated, particularly after winning the Asian Champions Trophy. Our preparations have been earnest and the team consists of players who have played the Olympic Qualifiers in the past and understand very well the level of performance needed to make the cut. This is a do-or-die outing for us and we are ready for the challenge."

Adding to Savita's views, vice captain Nikki Pradhan, who belongs to Jharkhand, said: "Every member of the team wants to participate in the Olympic Games. That is the ultimate dream and after arriving in Ranchi earlier this week, we have got some good training sessions in the ground. There is a lot of excitement not just among the team members but among the hockey fans in Jharkhand who I am sure will turn up in large numbers to show their support for us."

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The Indian Team will take on United States in their opening match on January 13, followed by a match against New Zealand on January 14. After a day's rest, India will play Italy on January 16 while the semi-finals will be held on January 18 and the final on January 19.

Top 3 teams from the tournament will earn their ticket to Paris Olympic Games.

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(With inputs from IANS)

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