Indian women's hockey team leaves for HWL Semi-Final
With their eyes set on a berth for the 2018 World Cup, the Indian women's team will leave on Saturday for the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg, starting July 8.
The 18-member Indian team led by striker Rani has been training here for the last six days before leaving for the World Cup Qualifier.
"We played a couple of matches over the past one week against U-18 Boys. The whole idea of playing these matches was to see how the team copes with handling speed considering the boys play faster hockey. The physical aspect too was put to test," stated chief coach Sjoerd Marijne prior to their departure from here.
Earlier this month, the squad trained at the SAI Centre at Shillaroo to get acclimatised to the testing conditions in Johannesburg.
Under Scientific Adviser Wayne Lombard, the team was put through intense training, with focus on improving speed, agility and attaining a greater level of fitness.
"We would do four sessions a day and it is not easy training so hard at high altitude. The sessions were very challenging but the girls are eager and excited to earn a berth for the World Cup," said skipper Rani.
"Barring a couple of us in the team, most of them have not participated in a World Cup event and that anticipation is driving the team to give their 100 per cent each session, each match and I am confident of a good show," she said.