Indian goalkeeper Savita Punia will be leading the strong 18-member hockey squad, along with defender Deep Grace as a deputy, in the upcoming women's Asia Cup in Muscat. The team includes 16 players that featured at the Tokyo Olympics.
Punia will be the tournament scheduled to be held between January 21-28 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Sportstar reported. The semifinals and finals will be held on January 26 and 28.
According to the report, India has been placed in Pool A and Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. The title defence will be opened against Malaysia, Japan on January 23 and Singapore on January 24.
The top four teams will go ahead for the 2022 World Cup to be held in Spain and Netherlands.
Aiming For Gold
The star goalkeeper looks forward to leading the team in upcoming tournaments and aiming for gold. "Losing a gold medal in 2018 was disappointing. Surely, there will be a lot of expectations from us after our Olympics performance. We have some outstanding young goalkeepers coming into the group too, and I want to help them in whatever way I can," Savita told Sportstar.
The team is expecting to win the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Women's World Cup the same year. Another upcoming tournament this year is the Asian Games.