Indian hockey teams pleased with certainty over 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Indian men's and women's hockey teams' coaches Graham Reid and Sjoerd Marijne felt that the new dates for 2021 Olympics will help with their planning.

Both the men's and women's teams are in National Camp at the Sports Authority of India's Bengaluru campus.

With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially announcing 23 July to 8 August 2021 as new dates for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Indian men's and women's teams are reviewing the opportunities to prepare for the Olympic Games. The IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee had jointly announced the postponement of the Olympic Games last week owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both the teams had qualified for the Tokyo Games after winning their Olympic Qualifiers matches in November as the chief coaches felt it would be easier to plan with the dates confirmed.

"It's great to get some clarity about the new starting date for the Tokyo Olympic Games," Men's team coach Graham said on Monday.

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"This allows us to begin the planning process to be ready for July next year. In the meantime, we are looking forward to getting through this current tough period and hope to be back out on the training field as soon as possible," he said.

Women's team coach Sjoerd Marijne said that the team is eager to hit the reset button.

"It's good we have certainty when the Olympics will be held and we can work towards that. We are all in the same campus and available for each other in these hard times, a new date for the Olympics is good news for all of us. But for now, we are living by the day, staying strong mentally and physically and wait eagerly to get back to our normal routine. We are prepared to hit the reset button." the Dutchman said.

As both the teams are at Sports Authority of India's campus in Bengaluru due to nationwide lockdown, Hockey India president Mohammed Mushtaque Ahmed felt the planning will become easier.

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"We were already in the process of looking at possible opportunities in the lead up to the new dates for the Olympic Games next year as it provides more clarity to our approach. Since we have already qualified, the planning becomes easier. We will be working closely with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Ministry, Youth Affairs & Sports and Sports Authority of India in this next 15 months to ensure both our teams have the best resources to achieve success at the Olympic Games," he said.

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