India: ‘We came to set the record straight and win the Gold medal,’ says Savita after India’s Gold medal win at Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi 2023

~Indian Women’s Hockey Team were undefeated throughout the tournament~

New Delhi, 6th November 2023: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team lifted the Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi 2023 on Sunday night in Ranchi after a stunning 4-0 victory over Japan in the Final, claiming the prestigious title for the second time. The Indian Women’s Hockey Team will now aim to return to Ranchi and repeat this performance at the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, scheduled to be held at Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh AstroTurf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand from 13th to 19th January 2024.

Speaking on the big win, Indian Women’s Hockey Team Captain Savita explained why the title victory here is crucial for the team.

“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. We always take it one game at a time in every tournament. This time, the whole team had a point to prove and I am glad we were able to do so,” Savita said. 

 In recognition of their exceptional title-winning performance, which was marked by an unbeaten streak, Hockey India declared a reward of Rs 3.00 Lakhs for each member of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team and Rs 1.50 Lakhs for each member of the support staff. 

India faced China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand in the round-robin stage of the tournament and won all five games to finish on top of the table with 15 points. In the Semi-Final, India defeated Korea 2-0 to book a date with Japan in the Final. 

 “The team played a lot of attacking hockey. We took the initiative as we have the players suited for it and everyone gave their best to make sure we stand on top of the podium. The aim has always been to bring our performances from practice to the pitch. Now, for the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, we have time to prepare and ensure we come back and perform to the best of our abilities,” Savita added.

The Final against Japan saw Sangita Kumari, Neha, Lalremsiami, and Vandana Katariya score to ensure India’s massive win. Moreover, for their impressive performances Sangita Kumari, the highest goalscorer for India with 6 goals in the tournament, won the Rising Star of the Tournament Award, Savita won the Women Leader of the Tournament Award, Salima Tete won the Jharkhand Player of the Tournament Award, and Deepika won the Fan Choice Award for Best Goal. 

Indian Women’s Hockey Team Chief Coach Janneke Schopman expressed appreciation for the performance and mentality of the team throughout the tournament, saying, “As a team, we played very well and the intent to be better was seen in every player. We played some scintillating hockey. I am really pleased with the team’s decision-making on the field.”

 “The players chose to try variations on penalty corners depending on the situation. Neha risked a referral in the first quarter but she was confident and all those decisions worked in our favour. I like to see the decision-makers taking ownership,” she elaborated.

India scored a whopping 27 goals in the 7 games they played during the tournament to clinch the Maximum Team Goals Award as well. 

“We have a lot of people who can score goals and some solid defenders. This is backed by the fact that we conceded only two goals from the penalty corner and no field goals. We know we are good enough to qualify for the Paris Olympics and now it is just a matter of showing that you can perform at the same level again in the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers after two months,” the Chief Coach signed off.

By Hockey India

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