New Delhi, Aug 26: Indian women's hockey captain Rani Rampal expressed her happiness after putting up a brilliant performance at the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo as they defeated hosts Japan 2-1 in the final to win the competition. The Indian team started the tournament with a superb 2-1 victory over hosts & World No 14 Japan, before playing out a 2-2 draw with World No 2 Australia in their second match. India then drew 0-0 with World No 11 China in their last round-robin match. Rani was all praise for drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, who was the top-scorer of the competition with three goals.
“It was incredible to remain unbeaten throughout the Olympic Test Event. A victory in this tournament gives us a lot of confidence ahead of the Tour of England and the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in November," said Rani. The World No 10 India could not seal a direct place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after a heart-breaking loss to Japan in the Asian Games Final in 2018. However, the Indian side, who beat Japan in the final of the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019 and Olympic Test Event, is confident of achieving their goal in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
"The team is confident of booking a place in the Tokyo Olympics. The Olympic Test Event was very helpful to understand the level of our game as we played against some strong teams including World No 2 Australia. Our only aim is to qualify for the Olympics and I feel we are on the right track,” said Rani. (UNI)