BENGALURU: Indian women's hockey team defender Mahima Choudhary believes that one of the first tasks for her side in 2021 will be to qualify for the FIH Junior Women's World Cup.
"What happened in 2020 is behind us now. We don't want to think about what we missed out on in 2020 due to the pandemic but we want to look ahead to 2021 with optimism. It is a crucial year for us with the FIH Junior World Cup being held in December for which we will need to qualify by winning the Junior Asia Cup scheduled to be held in April 2021. That will be our first goal for 2021," said Choudhary in an official Hockey India release.
The FIH Junior Women's World Cup is scheduled for December 5-16, 2021 and it will be held in Potchefstroom, South Africa. In addition to South Africa who qualifies automatically as hosts, 15 other teams will qualify from five separate continental competitions.
"We are happy to be back in the national camp and train in a bio-secure environment. We are slowly getting back to our previous rhythm and are mentally and physically focused on doing well at the Junior Asia Cup. In the previous edition of the Junior Asia Cup in 2015, India had finished 4th. We want to better the result this time by finishing on the podium and securing qualification for the FIH Junior World Cup," stated Choudhary.
Training in the same campus as their senior counterparts, Choudhary feels there is a lot to watch and learn from the work ethics of the Indian women's team.
"Over the past couple of years, the senior team has set the benchmark high for us to emulate. Having succeeded in continental championships and improving their world ranking too, they have inspired us all along. Getting to watch them train closely as we are housed on the same campus is a big learning experience for all of us in the junior core group. The work ethics of some of the senior players is awe-inspiring and I feel a great sense of motivation to improve my own performance when I watch them train," said Choudhary.