HI Junior Women Zonal Championships: Haryana, Jharkhand, MP, Karnataka crowned champions
Hockey Haryana defeated Hockey Punjab 4-1 in the final of the Hockey India Junior Women North Zone Championship, Hockey Jharkhand won the Junior Women East Zone Championship defeating Hockey Mizoram 2-2 (2-1 SO) in a penalty shootout. Hockey Madhya Pradesh has been crowned Champions of the Junior Women West Zone Championships after they defeated Hockey Maharashtra 6-1 in the final. Hockey Karnataka won the South Zone Championship defeating the Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu 3-1.
Hockey India successfully conducted the 1st Junior Women Zonal Championships 2023, which concluded on Sunday with Hockey Haryana, Hockey Jharkhand, Hockey Madhya Pradesh, and Hockey Karnataka finishing as Champions in North, East, West, and South Zones respectively. Following the victory, the coaches discussed their successful campaigns and revealed the strategies that worked in their favour.
Hockey Haryana defeated Hockey Punjab 4-1 in the final of the 1st Hockey India Junior Women North Zone Championship 2023 in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. Anil Kumar, Head Coach of Hockey Haryana, "It was a great tournament for us as it gave our junior players much-needed exposure." Anil Kumar praised his team as well, saying, "In terms of fitness, strength, and skills, Hockey Haryana were excellent, and that's why they were crowned Champions."
Anil Kumar also applauded Hockey India for conducting the 1st Junior Women Zonal Championships 2023 and providing top-class facilities to the participants, according to a release. "By organising such tournaments, Hockey India is giving youngsters a fantastic opportunity to not only showcase their skills but also test themselves. A competition like this helps players in discovering their strengths and weaknesses at an early age, which ultimately helps them improve their game," Kumar said.
"Moreover, Hockey India provided the best possible facilities for the participating teams, and for that, all of us, from athletes to coaches, are really happy," he added. Hockey Jharkhand won the first Hockey India Junior Women East Zone Championship 2023 in Khunti (Ranchi) Jharkhand by defeating Hockey Mizoram 2-2 (2-1 SO) in a penalty shootout.
Speaking about their title-winning campaign, Hockey Jharkhand Head Coach Himanshu Kumawat stated that his team benefited from playing on home turf. "Many fans came to the stadium to watch Hockey Jharkhand play and it motivated the team to give its best. So, we got the advantage of playing in front of the home crowd and getting a plethora of support. It helped us win the title," Kumawat said.
Himanshu Kumawat also praised runners-up Hockey Mizoram and Hockey Association of Odisha, which finished third, for giving a tough competition to Hockey Jharkhand in the East Zone. "Both Hockey Mizoram and Hockey Association of Odisha were tough teams and gave us a good fight in the tournament." Kumawat went on to praise Hockey India's initiative to organise the 1st Hockey India Junior Women Zonal Championships 2023, saying, "In my opinion, the tournament is an amazing platform for youngsters to gain exposure. Some players were unable to compete at the Nationals, but now they will have the opportunity to demonstrate their talent and impress selectors at the Junior Zonal Championships, which will help them climb the success ladder."
Hockey Madhya Pradesh has been crowned Champions of the 1st Hockey India Junior Women West Zone Championship 2023 in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh after they defeated Hockey Maharashtra 6-1 in the Final. Hockey Madhya Pradesh's Head Coach Neha Rawat said that they learned many new things during the tournament and overall, it was a great experience for the team to be part of the competition.
"Our overall experience of the 1st Hockey India Junior Women Zonal Championships 2023 was fantastic. We learned several new things during the tournament. There were many good competitors. We will take key learnings from the tournament and look to perform even better in our upcoming competitions," Rawat said. Hockey Karnataka won the 1st Hockey India Junior Women South Zone Championship 2023 at Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu by defeating the Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu 3-1 in the Final on Sunday.
"It felt great to win the 1st Hockey India Junior Women Zonal Championships 2023," Hockey Karnataka's Head Coach Dharmendra G.R. said. "The team really played well and gave their best. We practiced what we preached. The hard work of all the team members helped us lift the trophy," he added. Revealing the secret behind Hockey Karnataka's title win, Dharmendra G.R. said, "The success mantra was to keep it simple and take one game at a time, and give our best." (ANI)
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