India women's hockey captain Rani Rampal believes improved fitness levels have 'boosted' team's confidence ahead of Tokyo 2020
India women's hockey captain Rani Rampal has revealed that the team's improved level of fitness has 'boosted their confidence' ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The summer Games will mark the first time the team will make back-to-back Olympic appearances.
Rampal who has earned an impressive 241 caps for India since 2009 said: "The starting of the Olympic year has been good.
"Especially because last year we managed to qualify for Tokyo. Since then, the women’s hockey’s graph is going well.
"The combination of fitness and skill has been great. Earlier we used to lag behind in fitness. But that has improved in the last three years.
"In today’s time if the fitness is good we can play well but if there is no fitness even the skill won’t help you."
And as the team prepare for Tokyo, their new fitness levels has helped their confidence on the pitch.
"We are concentrating on our game more than others. Our competition every day is with ourselves. How we can perform better and better," she said.
"We have to utilise all the chances that we get. We can’t break the structure, if we break that, we lose. We will take one game at a time in the pool stage. We have to plan match by match, not rush ourselves."
The Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 will begin on July 24.