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Hockey: Need to be consistent ahead of Tokyo Olympics: Harmanpreet Singh

By Pti

New Delhi, Feb 25: Indian men's hockey team vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh on Tuesday said it needs to play consistently throughout the duration of a game going into this year's Tokyo Olympics.

With less than 150 days to go for the start of Tokyo Olympics, Harmanpreet said the team needs to work upon in some areas.

"We have paid a price in these matches for slowing down or dropping the tempo in between quarters. This is an area of concern in the lead up to the Olympic Games," Harmanpreet said.

"Also coach (Graham Reid) believes we can do better in terms of circle penetration, tackling outside the circle and not concede too many penalty corners. A long camp will definitely help focus on these critical points," the drag-flicker said.

India made a dream start in their maiden FIH Hockey Pro League campaign with 5-1 and 3-3 (3-1) wins over the Netherlands. The team then won 2-1 and lost 2-3 against world champions Belgium, followed by 3-4 defeat and 2-2 (3-1) victory against title holders Australia.

"Good results against the world's top 3 teams is no doubt a big morale boost but there are a lot of areas that still concerns us. When the team met after the double-header against Australia, it was decided that we will go back to basics when we meet for a four-week long national camp in SAI Bengaluru," said Harmanpreet.

Meanwhile, the Indian women's team vice-captain Savita said the team's recent tour to New Zealand was a big learning experience in their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. The Indians registered 4-0, 3-0 wins and 1-2, 0-1 losses against hosts New Zealand but beat Great Britain 1-0 during the five-match tour.

"We all have reminders set on our phones that show the countdown to our first match in Tokyo. As we are getting closer, there is a lot of excitement as well as anxiousness to tick off all the boxes to ensure we are best prepared and our recent tour in New Zealand was quite a learning experience," said the ace goalkeeper.

"While our on-going camp has been about improving our fitness, speed, goal-shooting, tapping the ball and tackling, we have also tried to play with different combinations that are effective in the attacking midfield and forward-line. There is a great sense of competition within the team to prove ourselves and this is helping in building competitiveness and improving as a unit," she said.

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Story first published: Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 21:17 [IST]
Other articles published on Feb 25, 2020
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