Hangzhou [China], September 23 (ANI): With determination in their hearts, the Indian Men's Hockey Team are all set to embark on their journey to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Having won the Asian Champions Trophy 2023 recently, the Indian team is keen to carry forward this momentum and make their nation proud by bringing home the gold medal.
Interestingly, the Indian Men's Hockey Team have a rich history in the Asian Games as they have clinched three Gold medals (1966, 1998, 2014), nine Silver medals (1958, 1962, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1990, 1994, 2002), and three Bronze medals (1986, 2010, 2018) so far in the marquee tournament, as per a Hockey India press release.
The Indian team will aim to continue their brilliant show and go all out for the Gold medal as it will help them secure a direct qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
India is placed in Pool A, alongside Pakistan, Japan, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Uzbekistan in the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou and they will kick off their campaign on September 24 against Uzbekistan.
Pool B consists of Korea, Malaysia, China, Oman, Thailand, and Indonesia. The top two teams from each pool will make it to the Semi-Finals.
Meanwhile, Indian men's hockey team captain Harmanpreet Singh, whose consistency and leadership have been instrumental in India's recent success, expressed his excitement and motivation for the upcoming tournament. He said, "Representing the tricolour on the international stage is an honour, and we are ready to give our all at the Asian Games. In the run-up to the tournament, we have undergone challenging practice sessions, and every member in the camp is completely concentrated and dedicated. Our goal is clear - to clinch the Gold medal and earn a direct qualification for the Paris Olympics next year." Also, Indian men's hockey team coach Craig Fulton, who has been working relentlessly with the team to fine-tune their strategies and skills, believes that unity and discipline will be the keys to success in Hangzhou. He stated, "We have been preparing rigorously, focusing on teamwork and mental strength. Our teamhas the talent, and now it is about executing our plans effectively on the field. We are eager to face the competition and bring glory to India." After taking on Uzbekistan in their opening game on September 24, the Indian team is scheduled to square off against Singapore, Japan, and Pakistan on the 26th, 28th, and 30th of September, respectively. Their final group stage clash is set against Bangladesh on October 2.
Schedule of the Indian Men's Hockey Team:On September 24, 2023, India Vs Uzbekistan at 0845 hrs ISTOn September 26, 2023, India Vs Singapore at 0630 hrs ISTOn September 28, 2023, India Vs Japan at 1815 hrs ISTOn September 30, 2023, India Vs Pakistan at 1815 hrs ISTOn October 2, 2023, India vs Bangladesh at 1315 hrs IST. (ANI)