Hockey

Asian Champions Trophy Hockey 2024: Hardik Singh Stresses The Importance Of Successful Title Defence

China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Pakistan, are the other teams that have qualified for the upcoming edition of the Asian Champions Trophy. The next edition of the men's Asian Champions Trophy will take place in Hulunbuir City, China from September 8 to 17, 2024

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President Ram Nath Kovind confers Arjuna Award on Hardik Singh in 2021. Photo: X (President of India)
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Indian men's hockey team vice-captain Hardik Singh feels that the Asian Champions Trophy triumph last year was the perfect impetus for his side to achieve greater heights and defending the title will be an important step in becoming the best in the world. (More Hockey News)

Since emerging victorious in the Asian Champions Trophy last year, the Indian hockey team went on to win the Asian Games and directly qualify for the Paris Olympics while also putting up a good show in the home leg of the FIH Pro League.

The next edition of the men's Asian Champions Trophy will take place in Hulunbuir City, China from September 8 to 17.

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"Coming back from behind to win the tournament was a special feeling, and looking back, I feel the team used that game as a springboard to reach greater heights," Hardik was quoted as saying in a Hockey India release.

"There is no doubt that we are looking forward to playing in the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy 2024 and defending our title," the midfielder added.

"We aim to be the best team in the world, and an important step in that journey will be to retain the trophy and solidify our position as the best team in Asia."

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In the final, India found themselves trailing 3-1 at half-time, but goals from captain Harmanpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, and Akashdeep Singh in the second half ensured that India were crowned Asian champions in Chennai last year.

Hardik feels the triumph was a testament to the Indian team's progress under then new coach Craig Fulton.

"The Asian Champions Trophy Chennai was a spectacular tournament. As a team, we were still adapting to the new style of play under Chief Coach Craig Fulton, and claiming the gold medal was a testament to the progress the team had made under him."

"We also had the Mental Trainer Paddy Upton with us to help us along the way, and the team showed immense character to keep their wits about them and turn things around when we were trailing to Malaysia in the final."

China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Pakistan, are the other teams that have qualified for the upcoming edition of the continental event.

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