India's men's hockey team have started Rio Olympics 2016 on a bright note defeating Ireland on the opening day. The women's team will also hope for a similar result as they take on Japan in their first match on Sunday.
It is going to be a historic occasion for these women players, as the Indian team have qualified in the event after 36 years. The Indian players are expected to give their all in Rio Olympics. India have been pitted in a tough group, which also includes teams such as Great Britain, Argentina, Australia, USA.
But they should not think too long ahead. India women's team should only take one game at a time, and should concentrate on defeating Japan on Sunday. A victory could do their confidence a world of good.
India have some quality players including Deep Grace Ekka and Poonam Rani, who need to be on top of their toes against Japan. Besides the duo, skipper Sushila Chanu has to lead the team from the front. If these players fire on all cylinders, India can hope for a better show in Rio. Coach Neil Hawgood will hope for a good performance from the team.
Though Chanu might have been appointed the new captain for Rio Olympics, experienced player Ekka feels their focus lies on performing for Team India.
"The coach has told us to give your best in the first match, that will set the tone for the remainder league matches. It will not be a problem. We have been practising together and know each other well. We are just focused to do well tomorrow," PTI quoted Ekka as saying.
The Indian players might be one of the weakest teams in the group, but they have to keep faith in themselves. What is most impressive is the never-give-up attitude of the Indian players, which has helped them qualify for Rio as well.
Japan, who are ranked number 10 in the world, will be a stern test, but if they India get their game going, anything is possible. Japan, like India, will be keen to come up with a winnng start in the competition. Hence, an interesting match lies ahead.
India vs Japan women's hockey
India vs Japan women's hockey is scheduled for a 7.20 p.m. IST (10:50a.m. local time, 2:50 p.m. BST) start. Below is the TV and live streaming information for Rio Olympics hockey matches.
UK and Ireland: TV: BBC. Live Streaming: BBCiPlayer.
Brazil: TV: SporTV, Globo, Fox Sports and ESPN.
Argentina: TV: ESPN and DirecTV. Live Streaming: ESPN Play Latin America.
Australia: TV: Channel 7, 7Two and 7Mate. Live Streaming: Channel 7 online.