Marijne, Rani happy with Argentina lessons

February 3, 2021

SportsTokyo Olympic Games


Indian women’s hockey team coach Sjoerd Marijne is happy with the show they put up on the tour of Argentina after being stuck at home for nearly a year. With the Tokyo Olympic Games less than six months away, Marijne has said the team now has a better understanding of what it takes to beat a top team.

World No. 9 India played three matches with the senior Argentine team, ranked No. 2 in the world, losing two of them (2-3, 0-2), before drawing the third 1-1. Before that, the team had played two draws (2-2, 1-1) against the Argentina Junior team and lost two matches (1-2, 2-3) to Argentina B.

Even contests
“In all three matches against the senior women, it was very closely contested, and the matches could have gone either way,” Marijne said. “Even the match where we lost 0-2, they (Argentina) were very effective, but our quality of play was very high in that game.”

“Overall, this tour has helped us gain that confidence of playing against a top side like Argentina. We had the chance to experience what it takes to beat a team like Argentina and the areas we need to focus on to succeed against a quality side,” he added. “This is a positive step in our preparations for the Olympic Games.”

After returning to India, the core group will have a two-week break before regrouping for the national camp at the Sports Authority of India campus in Bengaluru.

“Once we return to Bengaluru, we will evaluate these matches again and use this as a benchmark to make further progress in our performance. This tour has surely helped a lot,” Marijne said.

He said one important aim of the tour was to provide exposure to the younger players. “This tour was also about giving players who don’t have much international experience the chance to show their level,” Marijne said. “This is a long-term process, and it is important for the future of the team.” — TNS, agencies

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