Indian hockey will hit the restart button and begin the Olympic preparations when the women’s team travels to Argentina next week for its first tour in nearly a year.
A core group of 25 players and seven support staff will leave from New Delhi on January 3. The team will compete in eight matches against the host, starting from January 17.
“We have a little over 200 days before we arrive in Tokyo for the Olympic Games in July 2021 and it was very important to play matches against a strong team like Argentina,” team captain Rani said in a release issued by Hockey India.
“The team is really excited for this opportunity and has been keenly looking forward to this tour, this exposure will make us understand the level we are at after nearly a five-month long National Coaching Camp in Bengaluru.”
The Indian women’s team last participated in an international tour in January this year when it travelled to New Zealand for a five-match series. It played both New Zealand and Great Britain in the five-match series and were victorious in three of them.
“I am happy that after one year we are able to play international matches. This tour will give us information for the next step to be made in our preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.
There is no requirement of quarantine upon arrival in Argentina but the Indian team will still be following all safety and health measures as advised by their respective governments. Hockey India and the host association have planned to create a bio-bubble for the teams.