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New Delhi, Nov 11: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team, buoyed by their success at the Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi 2023, remains undeterred as they prepare to face formidable opponents in the upcoming FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier Ranchi 2024, scheduled from January 13 to 19. Captain Savita, confident after a victorious campaign, emphasizes the team’s readiness for the challenges that lie ahead.

Eight national teams, including Germany, Japan, Chile, Czech Republic, New Zealand, United States, Italy, and India, will compete in the Olympic qualifier to secure their spots for the Paris Olympics. The teams are divided into two pools, with the Indian Women’s Hockey Team placed in Pool B alongside New Zealand, the United States, and Italy. Pool A consists of Germany, Japan, Chile, and the Czech Republic.

In the Pool stage of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier Ranchi 2024, each team will face others in their group once, and the top two teams from each group will progress to the Semi-Finals scheduled for January 18. The Final and the 3rd/4th place match are slated for January 19. Teams finishing in the top 3 at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier Ranchi 2024 will secure their qualification for the Paris Olympics.

When asked about the possibility of facing Germany later in the tournament, Captain Savita stated, “We played Germany in July, so we know what we’re up against.” Chief Coach Janneke Schopman echoed Savita’s confidence, highlighting the team’s undefeated performance in the Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi 2023.

Schopman emphasized the need for improvement, particularly in avoiding unnecessary cards and making better use of referrals. She acknowledged the team’s tough playing style and emphasized the importance of creating opportunities against closed defenses.

“This tournament showed we are a tough team. So, we will continue to focus on ourselves, look for ways to improve, and leave no stone unturned in our preparation for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier Ranchi 2024,” said Schopman.

With the victory in Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi 2023 propelling the Indian Women’s Hockey Team to their best-ever ranking of sixth in the world, the players are gearing up for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier Ranchi 2024. The unwavering home support received in Ranchi during the previous tournament has motivated the team, and they anticipate a similar backing in the upcoming Olympic qualifier.

“The support we received in Ranchi spurred us on. Home crowd can be an added pressure sometimes, but we were mentally prepared. The residents of Ranchi turned up in droves, and we couldn’t let them down. The team knows that we will receive the same backing during the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier Ranchi 2024, and if people are coming to support us, the onus is on us to repay their faith,” concluded Captain Savita.