The Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams left for their maiden Youth Olympic Games to begin in Buenos Aires from October 8-16. This is the first time an Indian team will participate in hockey at the Youth Olympics and the anticipation and confidence was evident on the faces of the young hockey stars.
While the women’s team, grouped in Pool A, will begin their campaign on October 7 against Austria, the men’s side in Pool B will also start its campaign on the same day against Bangladesh. “We have had good preparations ahead of the Youth Olympic Games and it helps that almost every player in the nine-member squad have played at the Hockey India Senior National five-a-side tournament in the past years which has given them a good understanding of the unpredictable nature of the game,” women’s team coach Baljeet Singh Saini, said.
Meanwhile, men’s coach Kariappa said preparations have put the team in good stead to perform well at the prestigious event. “We have left no stone unturned in our preparations and hence we are confident of a good show. This tournament will be critical in setting up the right base for the players and they are aware that the exposure and good result from this tournament will propel their international careers,” he said.