We do not fear top-ranked teams anymore: Rani

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Indian captain Rani. PC: Hockey India

New Delhi, December 28: Looking back at the year 2018 that saw Indian Women’s Hockey Team win a historic Silver Medal at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang and Silver at Women’s Asian Champions Trophy, Skipper Rani emphasized that her team no longer fears world’s top teams.

“Though we would have preferred to win Gold Medal at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang as well as the Asian Champions Trophy, I believe overall, we had a good outing in 2018. Beating England 2-1 at the Commonwealth Games, a 1-1 draw against them at their home turf during the Women’s World Cup in London and a low-scoring 0-1 loss to Australia in the Semi-final at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has given the team tremendous confidence and a self-belief that we can give top teams a run for their money in big-ticket tournaments. We are no longer considered an underdog team by our opponents and that’s our biggest takeaway from 2018,” emphasized the Skipper from Haryana.

Speaking of the year 2019, Rani said the team’s ultimate goal will be to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. “We will be reporting to the National Camp in the first week of January and begin our preparations in this crucial Olympic cycle where we will be playing Olympic Qualifiers. Though personally I still regret not winning the Gold Medal at the Asian Games which would have earned us direct qualification, I believe the result has only motivated and instilled a fighting spirit in us,” Rani concluded

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