Bhubaneswar, March 25 (IANS) The Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team left for Johannesburg, South Africa on Friday to participate in the much-awaited FIH Women’s Junior World Cup 2021. The marquee event, which got postponed to 2022 due to the threat of Covid-19, will begin on April 1 in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
This will be Junior women’s first international outing since the Chile tour in 2021, where they remained unbeaten.
Expressing the team’s excitement ahead of their departure, Captain Salima Tete said, “The long wait finally ends for us. We are absolutely excited to take part in the Junior World Cup. We got a good time to prepare ourselves, we trained with the senior team and I think it will really help us in doing well in the competition. We are really looking forward to this challenge and our aim is to finish on the podium.”
Grouped in Pool D, India will begin their campaign on 2nd April when they take on Wales. Their second match will be against Germany on 3rd April, followed by their last pool stage game against Malaysia on 5th April.
Talking about the team’s preparedness, Salima said, “Several players like Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Deepika, Sangita Kumari, Bichu Devi Kharibam and Ishika Chaudhary had recently made their senior team debuts at the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22, so we are pretty much in a good frame of mind. We are in good shape and confident of doing well. We even got a chance to play practice matches with the senior team, so the training and preparations have been really good. We are motivated, and will certainly give our best to finish on the podium.”