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Home > Sports > News > PTI > Report

Australian hockey tour preparation for Olympics

May 24, 2003 01:05 IST

The double-leg three-nation hockey tournament starting in Australia next week will provide India with the perfect opportunity to prepare itself for the Olympics, chief coach Rajinder Singh said on Friday.

"No doubt the tournament in Australia is important. But our main aim is to do well in the 2004 Athens Olympics. The matches in Perth and Sydney will help us in preparing the team for the future," said Singh from Bangalore, where the Indian players are undergoing training.

India will leave for Australiaon Saturdayon a 12-day tour during which they will play tournaments in Perth and Sydney.
Two host teams -- Australia and Australia 'A' -- and Pakistan are the other teams in the fray.

The chief coach said the new look team announced for the tour will test the potential of the players and prepare them
for the Athens Olympics.

India would also be experimenting few things during the tour which, he hoped, could help the side regain its past glory.

"We will be playing attacking hockey because that is the best way to beat European countries," he said. "The tour will also be a test for some senior players who havemade a comeback."

"For veterans like Baljit Singh Dhillon and Mukesh Kumar, the Australian tour will determine whether they will be fit to play in the Olympic qualifiers in Madrid in March next year or not," he added.

The 20-member Indian team willhave a 12-day tourof Australia.

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