Friday, December 8, 2023

India women look to end hockey medal drought


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BIRMINGHAM, July 28: A podium finish on its mind, the Indian women’s hockey team would look to bury the ghosts of a disastrous World Cup campaign by steam-rolling minnows Ghana in the Commonwealth Games opener on Thursday.
The Indian women are clubbed in Pool A alongside hosts England, Canada, Wales and Ghana, while Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Scotland and Kenya complete Pool B.
Just like their male counterparts, the Indian women returned empty-handed from the last edition of the Games in Gold Coast, finishing fourth after being routed 0-6 by England in the bronze medal play-off match.
Going into Games, the Indian women must have been haunted by their below-par effort in the recently concluded World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands, where the Savita Punia-led side finished a disappointing ninth.
And the Janneke Schopman-coached side would be desperate to prove that it is a far better side than what the recent results indicate.
They would be itching to prove their detractors wrong about the perception that a historic fourth place finish in last year’s Tokyo Olympics was a mere fluke.
The Indian women would also be hoping to break their 16-year medal brought in the Games here.
The India’s last medal – a silver – in CWG came in 2006 Melbourne.
The only other medal that Indian women bagged in the Games since hockey introduction in 1998 was a gold in the 2002 edition in Manchester. (PTI)

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