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Sports


Manpreet eyes 2023 Hockey WC to complete 'unfinished business'

Manpreet eyes 2023 Hockey WC to complete 'unfinished business'

New Delhi, Nov 9 (UNI) After a disappointing outing at the FIH Men's World Cup last year, Indian hockey captain Manpreet Singh on Saturday said he believes his team can bring to conclusion, the 'unfinished business' of a podium finish, when the country hosts the World Cup in 2023 at home.

India will host the 2023 FIH Men's Hockey World Cup from January 13 to 29, for the second consecutive time, after Bhubaneswar played host to the last edition in 2018.

It will become the first country ever to host four Men's Hockey World Cups, after having hosted the Men's Hockey World Cups in 1982 (Mumbai), 2010 (New Delhi) and 2018 (Bhubaneswar).

'We are really excited to learn that India has won the bid again to host the FIH Men's World Cup in 2023. We could not succeed in 2018, though we had a realistic chance of making the Semi Final of the World Cup in 2018.

'The loss against the Netherlands was a huge disappointment for us but now that India is set to host the World Cup again, we see this as yet another opportunity to complete the unfinished business,' said Indian captain Manpreet Singh.

He further stressed on the strong pool of players the country boasts of at the moment and their exposure at the international level in the coming years, which will ensure they have a strong and formidable team for the 2023 World Cup.

"We have ample time to prepare for the next edition of the World Cup. Our first priority at the moment is to do well in the FIH Pro League and use the platform to prepare well for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where we seek a medal," Manpreet said.

"A good show in Japan will only lay a solid foundation in the build-up to the World Cup in 2023. We have a strong pool of talented youngsters in the senior and junior set-up and the next two-three years they need to step-up their game and use all the opportunities that come their way," he added.

The 2018 World Cup edition held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar was a mega success and Manpreet hopes the 2023 event to be an even bigger affair.

'In terms of performance, our focus will be on the major tournaments that we will be playing from now till 2022-2023. This also includes Asia Cup, which we would like to win again and qualify for the World Cup, even though we get automatic qualification as hosts,' stated Manpreet.

The Indian Men's Team is currently on a break and will regroup for a conditioning camp, starting on November 18 in Bhubaneswar.

UNI AVK RJ 1748

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