Bengaluru, Oct 5 (IANS) With exactly 100 days to go for the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup Bhubaneswar-Rourkela, India captain Manpreet Singh has said this is the most exciting phase of the build-up, and the team’s performance at the 2022 Tokyo Olympics and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games has given hope that the side can win the coveted trophy.
With hockey fever on the rise in the country, the best exponents of the sport will make their way to India to compete for the World Cup trophy. India, who won silver at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, are eager to continue their good form and emerge champions.
“This is a very exciting time for us. There are only 100 days to go for the World Cup. We have been working very hard for this tournament and we are eager to perform for our country. Hopefully, we can go on and win the biggest hockey tournament in the world. We have performed consistently since the Olympics and we will look to continue our form in the World Cup,” said Manpreet.
Vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh said his side had improved manifold in the last few years and the World Cup will provide the opportunity to realise its full potential.
“We cannot wait for the World Cup to begin. Our team has grown manifold in the last few years and it’s time to play to our full potential and win the FIH World Cup for India. We have been working on all the aspects of our game that we need to improve and I feel we will put up an even better performance in this edition of the World Cup,” said Harmanpreet.
FIH CEO Thierry Weil also expressed his excitement for the World Cup, saying, “It really is exciting that the World Cup is only 100 days away! We’re looking forward to outstanding matches in the iconic Kalinga Stadium of Bhubaneswar and the brand-new Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela, which will be a fantastic legacy for hockey, not only for India but for the world. On behalf of FIH, I’d like to renew our thanks to Hockey India for putting together what will for sure be a memorable event.”
Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey said, “Hosting the World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela is a huge honour for us and we cannot wait to welcome the world’s top hockey players to India. All the preparations for the tournament are on track and we are very excited to organise the biggest hockey tournament. I would like to invite all the hockey fans to Bhubaneswar and Rourkela to witness the high-octane action between the world’s best sides.”
The Indian team will take on Spain in their first match of the World Cup at the newly-built Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela on January 13, 2023.