Vandana Kataria targets gold in Asian Games for Olympic qualification" alt="Vandana Kataria targets gold in Asian Games" title="Vandana Kataria targets gold in Asian Games"/>

Vandana Kataria targets gold in Asian Games

A top spot in the continental showpiece ensures automatic qualification for the men’s and women’s hockey teams to the Olympics.

  • IANS
  • Last Update: March 18, 2022, 13:44 IST

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Indian women’s hockey team forward Vandana Kataria has said that her immediate goal is to help her country qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games by winning a gold medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China later this year.

A top spot in the continental showpiece ensures automatic qualification for the men’s and women’s hockey teams to the Olympics.

“The goal I have set for myself this year is to help the team win gold in the Asian Games, so that we can secure our qualification for the 2024 Olympics. I am also looking forward to the World Cup this year, where we aim to make it to the finals of the competition. I am going to work really hard on my technical skills in training, because that is the best way I can help for the team,” said Vandana, the key player who led India to a historic fourth place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. helped achieve.

Vandana became a household name after her adventures in Tokyo. The 29-year-old’s professional journey began with his scintillating goal-scoring in the 2013 Junior World Cup. He is now a mainstay in the senior team with over 250 international caps.

Vandana rose to stardom by becoming the first Indian female hockey player to score a hat-trick at the Olympics. He achieved this feat with India on the verge of elimination in the group stage.

Speaking about the match against South Africa, Vandana recalled, “We had a team meeting the day before that match, and I remember feeling very low after our loss against Great Britain. I thought about all the months of hard work and sacrifices that took us in that moment, and all I could think about was how I could contribute to the team as a forward, because we didn’t want that. Let our journey come to an end. Disappointment in the group stage

“I was naturally very happy to score a hat-trick, but that day it was the performance of the entire team with everyone from the back row to the front row contributing equally and helping us win that day.”

Vandana’s efforts contributed to the team’s best ever performance in the Olympic Games. The 29-year-old Roshanabad forward has been on the receiving end of high praise over the past year, but Vandana is yet to rest on her laurels.

Speaking about that moment in her life after her father passed away in April 2021, Vandana spoke about the support she received from her teammates and head coach Jeanneke Schopman during a difficult period in her life.

“After losing my father last year, the support I received from my teammates, national team staff and (head coach) Janke Schopman helped me get back on my feet. This has been a turning point in my life and my career. I realized that like I have family back home, these people are like my family in the national camp,” she said.

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