“We came with a target. We wanted to set the record straight after the team fell short in the recent Asian Games. We wanted to claim the Gold medal here, especially since it was being held in India for the first time. "said Savita.
International hockey returns to Chennai after 16 years as Hockey India on Monday announced that capital of Tamil Nadu will be the venue for the Hero Asian Champions Trophy
This will be the seventh edition of the tournament and is scheduled to be held from 3rd August to 12th August serving as a precursor to the Hangzhou Asian Games in September where teams will vie to win Gold and qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Chennai last hosted an international hockey event in 2007 when the Asia Cup was held and the venue proved to be lucky for the home team who clinched the title beating Korea 7-2 in the Final.
India won in the inaugural edition of Asian Champions Trophy held in 2011 and beat Pakistan in the Final to win the Title again in 2016. In the following edition in 2018, India were joint winners with Pakistan after rain affected the proceedings of the Final held in Muscat.
India and Pakistan have won this trophy three times each while South Korea is the defending champion having won the trophy beating Japan in the Final in Dhaka in 2021. India finished third .
Talking to media persons here, Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey said “ It has been a while since we had all the top teams in Asia come to India and participate here. I have very fond memories of playing in Chennai and we hope they will all turn up in large numbers to support the participating teams.”
He said it is Hockey India’s endevoure to take International events to different parts of the country “On behalf of Hockey India, I thank Minister of Youth Welfare and Sports Development Udhayanidhi Stalin,for his support in hosting this tournament in Chennai. I had interacted with him during the World Cup at Bhubaneswar and it was very encouraging to see his enthusiasm and passion for hockey. I also thank Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) for this opportunity.
Sports minister Udhayanidhi Stalin said, “It is indeed a great honour to host the Hero Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai, which was once the capital of hockey in South India with many reputed domestic and international events being held here.
” I am very delighted to see the sport being revived in the state with many youngsters coming up the ranks including recent sensation in the Indian team S Karthi who is from Tamil Nadu. I believe hosting the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 here will further revive the sport in the region and watching top teams in Asia will also inspire the younger generation to take up hockey as a career. The Tamil Nadu government under Chief Minister MK Stalin extends all the support required to make this event a grand success.”
HI Secretary General Bhola Nath Singh said , “Hockey India officials have already visited the venue in Chennai and have taken note of the on-going preparations for the Hero Asian Champions Trophy . Tamil Nadu in the past decade has hosted many important National Championships across various age-groups and we were keen on taking international matches to other states in the country. I am sure with the support of all the stake holders, we will have a successful and memorable event.”