The Indian women Hockey team captain Rani Rampal on Friday stated that her team can compete with any team in the world. Just ahead of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, Rampal said that her team is very fit and they have improved a lot over the last two to three years. Comparing it to other teams, she said that she does not feel like the team lacks in fitness. India will compete against the USA on November 1 and November 2 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Speaking about the rankings of the hockey team, the Indian women Hockey team captain said that rankings do not matter as hockey has changed over time. Referring to England's win in the last Olympics, Rampal said that even though England has ranked lower, they did win the Olympics. The Indian Women Hockey team is ranked at 9 in the world, while the USA is ranked on 13. According to Rampal, even though the USA is ranked lower, the matches will not be easy as the latter will be trained. She further added that they just want to play and the team wants to focus on themselves. All that matters is what we are doing and not what the US is doing, she added.
According to Rampal, the crowd at the Kalinga Stadium has been extremely passionate about hockey, which eventually acts as an advantage to them. Rampal stated that the crowd's energy is an advantage for them to play better. Earlier, several men's hockey matches have taken place at the Kalinga Stadium. The official Twitter page of Hockey India has tweeted the pictures of Rani Rampal- Indian Women's Hockey team captain and Manpreet Pawar- Indian Men's Hockey team captain from the press conference held on Friday.
It's official! Here's a look at our Captains @imranirampal and @manpreetpawar07 from today's press-conference for the @FIH_Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Odisha on 1st and 2nd November 2019 at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar!#IndiaKaGame #RoadToTokyo #Tokyo2020 #GiftOfHockey pic.twitter.com/P5MgbXrABn— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 18, 2019
(With ANI inputs)