Sport "We want medals in Tokyo": National hockey teams start preparing for the Olympic Games
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The German national hockey teams started the crucial phase of their Olympic preparations with great ambitions.
The German national hockey teams started the crucial phase of their preparations for the Olympics with great ambitions. "The goals are clear, we want medals in Tokyo. Which ones will be remains to be seen," said DHB sports director Christoph Menke-Salz just five months before the summer games in Japan (23 July to 8 August): "We do everything we can to achieve that. "
After several months without match practice due to the corona pandemic, several test matches are planned for the teams of the German Hockey Association. The men will meet India on Sunday and Tuesday in Krefeld, the women will test four times (Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday) against the Indian selection in Düsseldorf.
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"The boys are as happy as the little children," said men's national coach Kais al Saadi: "It has a bright spot character. We are privileged to be able to play." The encounters against India were "very spectacular for the present time", stressed al Saadi, because it was not possible to "get a training opponent" in the past few months.
The two long-time top performers Tobias Hauke (33) and Martin Häner (32) are also in the squad. Both had originally planned to end their careers after the postponed Olympic Games in summer 2020. "Both have to prove their form, of course, but any nation in the world can use them in top shape," said al Saadi.
Shortly afterwards, the prestige duels in the Netherlands in the FIH Pro League (March 6th and 7th) and thus the first competitive games for more than five months are on the program. "We are as fit as never before," said women's national coach Xavier Reckinger, but his team must also transfer that to the field.
The test matches, which take place in camera, also serve as preparation for the European championship from June 4th to 13th in Amstelveen / Netherlands.
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