We are on our toes to qualify for Olympics, says captain Manpreet
The Indian men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh, on Wednesday, said the eight-time champions are focussed on qualifying for next year's Tokyo Olympics with just a year left for the start of the showpiece event.
The final countdown for Tokyo Games started on Wednesday with exactly 12 months remaining for the quadrennial event to start. The 2020 Olympics will be be held from July 24 to August 9 next year with the preliminary rounds of hockey for both men and women scheduled to start on July 25.
"We have a countdown chart as well and we frequently keep on reminding ourselves about how many days are left for the qualifying and how many days before the first hockey match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We are on our toes to qualify," Manpreet said.
"It's not just us players but the coaching staff too remind us about how many days are left for 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the goals we need to achieve ahead of this milestone event," Manpreet said.
"We have set short goals to work on our grey areas, besides, which team we intend to play against at the upcoming tournaments such as Olympic Test event, Belgium Tour and what implications this would have on the Qualifying event in November. We have mapped out every detail to ensure we do better."
Manpreet said remaining injury-free is another aspect which the players need to take care of in the run up to the Olympics.
Meanwhile, the Indian women's team skipper Rani Rampal said they are determined to book their Tokyo tickets to make the world realise that qualifying for 2016 Rio Olympics was not a fluke.
"We have all made personal sacrifices to ensure the team is put ahead of everything else and we are working towards one goal which is to qualify for the Olympics," Rani said.
"It's very important for us to reinstate that qualifying for Rio Olympics was not a one-off incident and that hockey fans can expect the women's team to create good results at major competitions."