Junior women’s national hockey: 26 teams vie for top honours

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Junior women’s hockey players from 26 teams have a good opportunity to showcase their skills at the 12th Hockey India Junior Women’s National Championship, which is set to begin on March 25 in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.

The participating teams include Hockey Haryana, Goa Hockey and Hockey Madhya Pradesh in Group A, while Pool B features Hockey Jharkhand, Manipur Hockey and Assam Hockey. Pool C includes Hockey Maharashtra, Telangana Hockey and Le Puducherry Hockey, meanwhile, Hockey Chandigarh, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu and Hockey Uttarakhand have been slotted in Pool D.

Hockey Association of Odisha, Delhi Hockey and Kerala Hockey have been included in Pool E, while Pool F features Punjab, Chhattisgarh Hockey and Hockey Himachal. Pool G features Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Hockey Bihar, Hockey Rajasthan and Hockey Mizoram, while Hockey Andhra Pradesh, Hockey Karnataka, Hockey Bengal and Hockey Gujarat have been included in Pool H.

Speaking about his team’s preparations for the competition, Hockey Haryana’s coach Azad Singh Malik said, “We reached Kakinada on 22 March 2022 and the team has been acclimatizing to the ground and weather conditions here. The humidity is high here so the team will take some time to get used to it. The confidence of the side is high as we were the champions in this tournament last year. We hope to reach the Final once again. We will give our best in this competition and try to win it.”

Meanwhile, the coach of the runners-up team (Hockey Jharkhand) in this tournament last year, Tarini Kumari said, “Our preparations for the tournament are going great. We have a good all-round team and we will focus on doing well in all the departments of the game. We will concentrate on our strengths and take it one game at a time. Hopefully, we will reach the Final this time as well.”

After six days of pool matches, the Quarterfinals will be played on March 31, the Semifinals will be held on April 2 whereas the Medal matches will be played on April 3.

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