New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) With their eyes on a berth in the Junior World Cup later this year, the Indian women’s hockey team is fired up for the highly-anticipated Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 in Kakamigahara, Japan. India are also hoping to clinch their maiden title at the multi-nation event.
The Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023, which will be played from June 2-11, serves as the qualifying event for the forthcoming FIH Junior Women’s World Cup 2023.
Notably, the top three teams in the Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 will earn automatic qualification to the FIH Junior Women’s World Cup 2023, which will be held in Santiago, Chile from November 29 to December 10.
India, which will be Captained by Preeti and Vice-captained by Deepika, has been grouped in Pool A along with Korea, Malaysia, Uzbekistan and Chinese Taipei, while hosts Japan, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Hong Kong China, will form Pool B of the tournament.
The Indian team has won a silver medal and four bronze medals in the tournament’s seven editions thus far. And this time, the Indian junior women’s hockey team will aim for their first gold medal.
Speaking on the team’s preparation ahead of the tournament, captain Preeti said, “We have worked hard over the past few months for this tournament and now we are all geared up to implement everything that we have worked on during training sessions. Moreover, the senior India team was also training with us on the same campus which helped us in upping our game and also boosted our confidence.”
Meanwhile, India’s vice-captain Deepika said that the team is excited to play against the best young teams in Asia and looking to put their best foot forward.
“Junior Asia Cup is a big opportunity for us to showcase our skills and test our mettle. We are excited to play against some of the top teams in Asia. We have been consistent in the tournament over the years and have won multiple medals, but this time we will leave no stone unturned to win the gold medal, which will be our first in the history of the tournament. However, we will first focus on qualifying for the Junior World Cup by making it to the top three of the tournament,” Deepika said.