Skipper Harmanpreet Singh talks about Asian Champions Trophy

Indian men's hockey team captain Harmanpreet Singh also stated that many of his teammates will be competing in the city for the first time. 

Harmanpreet Singh in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)
By Abhiruchi Rout | Apr 18, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Harmanpreet Singh, the captain of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team, talked about his enthusiasm about competing in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2023 competition which will be held in front of Chennai hockey fans. He said that this year, his team is keen to face off against Asian rivals at home. Ahead of the Asian Games 2022 Hangzhou in September, the seventh iteration of the coveted Asian Champions Trophy is set to take place from August 3 to August 12, 2023. Harmanpreet Singh also stated that many of his teammates will be competing in the city for the first time. 

Harmanpreet recalled hearing his seniors talk about the Asia Cup in Chennai in 2007, which was an incredible tournament for India as they succeeded in defending their championship. This competition will provide India a chance to put its skills to the test against other nations ahead of the Asian Games 2022. He continued by saying that his squad will gain a thorough insight of their rivals at the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023. This will further enable them to get ready for the Asian Games 2022, where they are seeking the Gold Medal and automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

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Close competition from Malaysia and Korea

Harmanpreet Singh stated that in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela, Korea, and Malaysia showed strong form, indicating that the competition in the tournament will be highly competitive. In the past two years, Korea has made remarkable strides, winning the Asia Cup in Jakarta last year and doing well at the World Cup. Malaysia, which possesses one of the finest Penalty Corner (PC) assaults, is also a serious contender for the crown. He emphasized that the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 will be the perfect competition for the Indian team to evaluate their performance against the opponents they will face off against in the Asian Games 2022. It will be a litmus test for the team ahead of the Asian Games.

Indian Hockey Team’s performance in the recent times

The Indian Men’s Hockey Team has been performing well in recent years, having won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after a wait of 41 years. However, in the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023, which took place in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, India, the team couldn’t make a mark in the tournament by finishing joint ninth alongside Argentina. However, captained by Harmanpreet Singh, they marked a strong return in the FIH Men’s Pro League 2022-23 held recently in Rourkela by winning all four games against the world champion, Germany, and Australia. 

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India’s performance at the Asian Champions Trophy

The Indian team has won the Asian Champions Trophy Title on three occasions. They won for the first time in 2011 which was also the inaugural edition by defeating arch-rival Pakistan by 4-2 in the shoot-out. They claimed back in 2016 by once again defeating Pakistan by 3-2, while both teams were declared joint winners in 2018. The Men in Blue also finished as the runner-up in 2012, losing to Pakistan by 4-5. India also won a bronze medal in the last edition (2021). In the 2013 edition, they returned home without any medals.