New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The excitement is building up as the countdown begins for the highly anticipated Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023.
With just two months remaining until the tournament kicks off, hockey enthusiasts across Asia are eagerly awaiting the captivating matches, brilliant goals, and fierce rivalries that this coveted tournament promises to deliver.
Notably, this will be the seventh edition of the prestigious tournament and it is scheduled to take place from August 3 to August 12, 2023 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, which last hosted an international hockey event in 2007.
Also, the Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 will be pivotal for participating teams as it will help them prepare for the Hangzhou Asian Games in September where teams will aim to earn direct qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games by clinching the Gold Medal.
Meanwhile, Indian Men's Hockey Team Captain Harmanpreet Singh expressed excitement and optimism, noting the build-up and anticipation surrounding the crucial tournament.
"There are only two months to go for the Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai and we are eager to perform for our country. We have been working very hard for this tournament as we aim to make our nation proud by winning the Gold Medal. Also, the team is excited to play in Chennai as for many of us, it will be the first time that we will be playing there. The Indian team last played in Chennai in 2007 when India defended the Asia Cup title successfully, so, we hope to emerge victorious again in Chennai," Harmanpreet said.
"Moreover, the tournament holds immense significance for the team and will provide us with an opportunity to gauge our progress and test our mettle against formidable opponents which will be very important for us ahead of the Asian Games where we aim to win the Gold medal and directly qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. However, at present, the team's focus is currently on the ongoing Pro League where we are playing against some world class teams. So, it will definitely help us prepare for the Asian Champions Trophy which is a good platform to test different combinations and for adapting to the different playing styles of our Asian counterparts ahead of Asian Games," he added.
Interestingly, India are the most successful team in the marquee event alongside Pakistan as both sides have won the Asian Champions Trophy three times each. The Indian Men's Team won this Title in the inaugural edition held in 2011, while in 2016, India defeated nemesis Pakistan in the Final to win the title for the second time. In the following edition in 2018, India were declared joint winners with Pakistan after rain affected the proceedings of the summit clash held in Muscat.
Moreover, India won the Bronze Medal in the last edition of the tournament in 2021 after defeating Pakistan in the 3/4th place match.
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