Hockey: FIH Pro League will help prepare for the Olympics

Harpal Singh Bedi

ANTWERPEN – 2019 Test Matches: India Spain v India (M) Photo: Rupinder Pal Singh WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

New Delhi: Ace drag flicker Rupinder Pal feels that Indian hockey team will gain big by taking part in the FIH pro league as it will serve as good preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.

Talking about  the  Team’s prospects of playing in the  Pro League for the first time early next year, the experienced defender said it will be a good test for his side.”The FIH Pro League was a great success in its first edition, and we are all very excited to be a part of it next year. These matches will be a great test for us, especially playing against the best teams from around the world. We will be hosting as well as touring some very strong teams in the next eight months, and I can’t wait to start our preparations for the same,” said Rupinder.

 The recently concluded  Olympic Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar  saw both the Indian Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams come out on top, and secure their respective berths in next year’s Olympic Games. Rupinder Pal represented the country  after a long lay-off away from the national side, and his performances in the two matches helped the team in defeating World No. 22 Russia 11-3 on aggregate.

“It was an amazing feeling to be back in the India blue. I was determined to perform well for my team, and make sure that we secured our place in the  Olympic Games. Russia gave us a tough fight, but we showed our quality in the end and secured the two wins. The comeback was good for me, and it now gives me a lot of confidence to do better in the upcoming season,” the 28-year old defender said 

“Our aim was to make sure we qualified for the Olympics, and now that we have secured our place, it is now time to put everything into preparing for the Olympic Games. We have nine months to prepare for the quadrennial event, and playing in the FIH Pro League will serve as good preparation for us. We will be able to determine where we stand against the top teams, and we will have enough time to make improvements and corrections in our game leading up to the Olympics,”

“We have a three-week conditioning camp in Bhubaneswar where we will be given a debrief of our FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, and will then focus on keeping our bodies ready for the new season. In this crucial phase, injury prevention is also a key area for us, and we will look to place special emphasis on our fitness as we regroup for bigger goals next year,” he added .

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