Kakamigahara [Japan], Nov. 5 (ANI): After lifting the Asia Cup title on Sunday, Indian women hockey team captain Rani Rampal expressed her happiness over earning qualification for next year's World Cup.
"We are all extremely happy that we won the Asia Cup and have earned the qualification for next year's World Cup on merit," Rani said.
Indian eves have qualified for next year's women's World Cup as Continental Champions after defeating China 5-4 in a thriller shoot out decider as the match ended at 1-1 in regulation time, here at the Kakamigahara Kawasaki Stadium.
Hailing her team's play against China in the finals, Rani said, "We had a lot of young players in the team who showed great spirits in playing on such a big platform. It was high level competition and we did not drop our level at any point in the game."
"The win was a result of a lot of hard work through this entire year and also the efforts of our coaching staff," the 22-year-old said.
Rampal believed the team to carry this confidence and motivation into the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games next year.
She revealed that the team was not happy with their performance in semi-finals.
"We were not happy with our performance in Johannesburg at the World League semi final and right then the team had decided that we need to start winning in order to gain that confidence to perform well in top tournaments," she said.
Rampal also said that the team worked a lot on creating penalty corners during the camps.
"We were also well-prepared for a shootout situation as we were anticipating the knockouts to end in shoot out. All the preparation helped us today," the Asia Cup trophy holder said.
Indian women lifted the Asia Cup after 13 years. They first won the trophy in 2004.
It is double victory for Indian hockey as just two weeks ago the Indian men's team also lifted the Asia Cup trophy, beating Malaysia in the final. (ANI)