The defending Champions Korea Men’s Hockey Team and last editions runners up, Japan Men’s Hockey Team arrived in Chennai on Sunday night for the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023. Both teams were afforded a warm welcome at the Chennai International Airport. While Korea are eyeing to retain the title, Japan’s best finish has been a Silver Medal in the 2021 edition of the tournament. (More Hockey News)
In the highly anticipated Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, which will take place at the iconic Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Egmore from 3rd August to 12th August, Korea are set to face formidable opponents including Malaysia, Pakistan, China, Japan, and hosts India. The stage is set for an exhilarating showcase of sporting excellence, as these Asian powerhouses collide in an epic display of skill, determination, and passion for the game.
Korea will be up against Japan in the tournament opener on 3rd August.
Talking about the tournament, Korea’s Head Coach Seok Kyo Shin said, “This tournament is crucial for us as it will serve as the preparatory event for the upcoming Asian Games, through which we are targeting a berth in the Paris Olympics next year. We are aiming to give our best in the Asian Champions Trophy.”
Meanwhile, Korea’s Captain Nam Yong Lee talked about the team’s preparations and said, “We recently toured Europe for friendly games, which helped us in preparing for the Asian Champions Trophy.” He added, “The team is looking forward to playing against India as the hosts have many quality players.”
Further talking about the weather conditions in Chennai, Lee said, “I am coming to Chennai for the second time as I last came here in 2007 for the Asia Cup, so I am pretty aware of the weather conditions in the city. Also, the climate here is pretty similar to that of South Korea, where it's also hot.”
Meanwhile, Japan, after finishing second in the previous edition of the tournament, will be eyeing to go all the way in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 and clinch their maiden title in the history of the tournament.
“I am very happy to be part of this tournament in Chennai. We are very excited and we’ll give our best in the competition. Also, I think the weather is very hot in the city, but that won’t make much difference as the climate is similar in Japan. Hence, we won’t have any trouble getting acclimated to the weather conditions here. We are looking forward to playing against the Indian team as they have a strong side,” said Japan’s Coach Akira Takahashi.
Further talking about the team’s preparations, Takahashi commented, “We have fine-tuned our defence and attack structures, and we hope to play according to that in the tournament and also implement our new strategies. Our target is to at least reach the final of the competition.”