Indian women’s hockey team coach, Harendra Singh, is confident of India’s chances in the Gold Coat CWG despite the eves losing 1-3 to Canada on Sunday. Harendra also revealed that his side is well acquainted with Australian weather conditions, which is similar to what they had faced in Bangalore.
The Indian women hockey side didn’t have the most encouraging of starts in their pre-campaign matches. After beating Australia’s local Queensland side 5-0 in the first warm-up match, they went down 1-3 to Canada. However, the match against Canada had numerous restrictions like no penalty corners and Harendra refused to give much importance to it. Speaking to Hindustan Times in an interview, a confident-sounding coach revealed that the side’s first priority would be to qualify for the knockouts.
“The team is coming up well and I am quite hopeful of their performance. Qualifying for the knockout rounds is our first aim,” said Harendra on Sunday, reported Hindustan Times.
The Indian eves would be the only other team apart from Australia that has won gold in Commonwealth Games, back in the 2002 CWG in Manchester, who take part in Gold Coast, and Harendra admitted that they have already been feeling the weight of expectations. However, the favorable weather conditions in Australia have been a positive for the side.
“The pressure is there as we are the only other country besides Australia to win the gold. But the girls have shaped up well and I am very hopeful. The current temperature here is just like what we faced in Bangalore, so conditions should not be a problem – they actually are the same as back home. The facilities are great, the turf is new and quite fast, which I think will help us,” he added.
The women team’s coach has previously tasted success with junior men’s team in the 2016 World Cup and has been relishing the new challenge. Harendra also revealed that he had to adapt to the changes and also introduced scientific coaching methods for the girls.