Indian captain Manpreet Singh. Image Credit: PTI

Bhubaneswar: The India men’s hockey team were quick to leave behind the disappointment of the 2018 World Cup and focus on their lone target for 2019, which was to make the qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Now that the goal has been accomplished, the eyes of the team are set on finishing in the top four in the prestigious quadrennial event.

“We have nine months to prepare for the Olympics and the plan is to get better and better each day, in each session that we train,” said skipper Manpreet Singh. “Under chief coach Graham Reid there is already a solid process in place and we just need to keep at it and I am sure the results will follow.

“The team strongly believes we have a good shot at finishing in the top four at the Tokyo Olympics and once we make the semi-finals, it can be anybody’s game there onwards.”

Having won back-to-back Asian Champions Trophy in 2016 and 2018, the team will aim to claim the title third time in a row when the tournament returns in 2020.

“It is definitely on our mind to defend the Asian Champions Trophy title. It will be sweet to make it a hat-trick, but we would like to take it step-by-step, tournament-by-tournament,” Manpreet said.