Brimming with confidence and vision firmly set on the podium, the Indian Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams left for the Gold Coast2018 XXI Commonwealth Games to begin on April 4 from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. The teams led by Captains Manpreet Singh and Rani respectively received a warm send-off from Hockey India officials, friends and family members of the players who were present at the IGI Airport.
Both the team were based out of the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru for the National Camp where the teams under their respective Coaching Staff underwent rigorous preparations for the quadrennial event. With the Gold Coast XXI Commonwealth Games being first of the many major tournaments this year, both the teams are looking to set the momentum for the rest of the year and are hopeful to achieve their targets in Australia. “We are looking at nothing less than a Gold Medal at the CWG. We have lost two consecutive Finals in the previous editions to Australia but this time we want to aim for a better colour of medal. The team went through an intense preparation camp with the focus on specific areas that required improvement. Now it will be all about executing the plans we have for each team to perfection and remain consistent throughout the tournament,” asserted 25-year-old midfielder Manpreet Singh. Indian Men’s Team is grouped in Pool B along with Pakistan, Malaysia, Wales and England.
While the Men’s Team begins their campaign on April 7 against rivals Pakistan, the Indian Women’s Team will take on Wales on April 5. “I don’t think any team is easy to beat. Every match will be challenging but to begin with, a victory will be ideal. We are going for the CWG as serious contenders for a Medal. We are hungry to win and build on our reputation as Asian Champions. We have left no stone unturned in our preparations and have worked on every area that has bothered us in the past. Both men and women’s team was in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday prior to our departure so some of us had the opportunity of meeting our family members. Now our excitement has doubled and we carry the good wishes of the entire nation,” expressed Rani. The Women’s Team is grouped in Pool A along with Wales, Malaysia, England and South Africa.