Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday exuded confidence that both men’s and women’s hockey teams will come out with a good performance in the Olympic Games scheduled to be held next year in Tokyo.
“I’m saying it with full confidence and hopeful that both men’s and women’s hockey team will do well in Tokyo Olympics. Our boys and girls are really working very hard,” Rijiju said in a tweet.
“We are providing them with top facilities and best support systems,” he added.
Originally scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9 this year, the Tokyo Olympics was in March postponed to 2021 following the outbreak of coronavirus. It is now set to be held from July 23 to August 8 next year.
Last year, both the hockey teams secured their Olympic berth in Bhubaneswar following successful outing in the Olympic Qualifiers at the Kalinga Stadium.
The men’s team, led by Manpreet Singh, had comfortably defeated Russia on aggregate score of 11-3 while the women’s team, under Rani’s leadership, edged out USA 6-5 in closely fought matches.
“We are shaping up well as a team and thanks to a very systematic approach in training adopted by the chief coach (Graham Reid) and particularly our scientific advisor Robin Arkell, we have gone back to the same fitness levels and are able to bring about optimal levels in high intensity sessions,” Manpreet said recently.
“…now we are stronger mentally and that will be our strength when we meet teams like Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain etc at the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” said Rani.
Both the teams are currently taking part in the national coaching camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility in Bengaluru.