Hockey Olympic Qualifiers: Czech Republic Women’s Hockey Team lands in Ranchi, aims for maiden Olympic berth
RANCHI — Czech Republic Women’s Hockey Team on Saturday arrived in Ranchi with zeal and determination as they set their sights on securing their maiden berth at the Olympics by qualifying for the Paris Olympics 2024.
The team, currently ranked 25th globally, exudes excitement and readiness as they prepare to showcase their prowess at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Ranchi 2024.
Led by Katerina Lacina and under the astute guidance of Head Coach Gareth Grundie, the Czech Republic squad is geared up for the challenge that lies ahead.
The Czech Republic finds itself placed in Pool A, where they will embark on their quest on January 13th, facing off against former Asian Games Champions Japan in their opening game. Subsequently, they are set to confront Chile on January 14 their second game of the tournament. Their final Pool match is scheduled against Olympic Silver medallists Germany on January 16.
The other teams in the fray include hosts India, New Zealand, Italy, and United States in Pool B. The top 3 teams from the tournament will qualify for the Paris Olympic Games 2024.
Arriving amidst a warm and delightful welcome in Ranchi, the team expressed their eagerness to compete at the highest level and make their mark in this prestigious tournament. The upcoming matches against formidable opponents stand as a testament to their determination and hunger for success.
Talking about the preparations and strategies for the tournament, Captain Katerina Lacina said, “Our training regimen was centered on enhancing our physical prowess, a crucial aspect of our game. Additionally, we engaged in valuable preparation games against France, Ukraine, and the Netherlands’ U21 side. With the squad boasting several young talents, our strategy revolves around a dynamic, physical style of play coupled with top-level hockey to showcase our team’s strength and skill on the field. We are here to fight and compete and we believe we can make it to the Paris Olympics.”
Further speaking on the team’s crucial fixture against the higher-ranked Germany, Lacina said, “We’re geared up to give our absolute best against Germany. In the game of hockey, anything can unfold, and we’re prepared to seize every opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Assistant Coach Tomas Procházka remarked, “This tournament in Ranchi, India, is a fantastic opportunity, and I’m thrilled to be part of it. Our aim is to bring our absolute best to the field and navigate the tournament as it unfolds. Our strategy revolves around fortifying our defense, capitalizing on penalty corners, and utilizing counter-attacks. With a youthful squad, our primary goal is to gather valuable experience and grow stronger as a cohesive unit throughout the tournament.”