Sjoerd Marijne: We defended well, played fast combination hockey against Japan

India beat Asian Games champion Japan 3-1 in the final match on Sunday to clinch the title.

India women's team coach Sjoerd Marijne believes that the Tokyo Olympics is a realistic goal for the side.   -  Getty Images

Indian women’s hockey team head coach Sjoerd Marijne Sunday said his players dished out a perfect game against host Japan in the summit clash of the FIH Series Finals here.

India beat Asian Games champion Japan 3-1 in the final match Sunday to clinch the title. The Indian team has already secured a place in the final round of the 2020 Olympics qualifiers by entering the final of this tournament.

“It was a hard-fought match, it was a difficult match. We did nothing wrong,” Marijne said after the match.

“I think we defended very well, we play fast combination hockey and have a good drag-flick. She (drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur) was impressive again today,” he added.

Gurjit was adjudged the highest scorer of the tournament with 11 strikes to her name while captain Rani Rampal was declared the player of the tournament.

The final round tournament of the 2020 Olympics qualifiers will be held later this year but the venue is yet to be decided by the international hockey federation. Marijne hoped that the Olympics qualifying tournament is held in India.

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“We are happy with the 500 points. When we came here, our mission was 500 points. Hopefully, we will be given the advantage to play at home (in the final round of Olympic qualifiers) and that will be great,” he said.

Sports Minister Kiren Rejiju hailed the Indian women’s team for winning the tournament.

“Here comes the great news! India clinched the Women’s FIH Series Finals hockey tournament by beating Japan 3-1 in the finals at Hiroshima. What an amazing games displayed by Indian Women team. CONGRATULATIONS GIRLS!” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

Rejiju also mentioned about forward Lalremsiami continuing to play in the tournament even though her father passed away on Friday.

“Indian women hockey player Lalremsiami’s father expired when India was to play a crucial semifinal at Hiroshima that would determine if India’s Olympics dream would be alive,” the sports minister wrote.

“She told coach, ‘I want to make my father proud. I want to stay, play and make sure India qualifies’”