Bhubneshwar (Odisha) [India], March 27 (ANI): SAI-Academy set the gold standard in the 1st Hockey India Junior Women Academy National Championship 2021 as they defeated Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy 2-1 in the final to claim the winner's trophy.
Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre bounced back strongly after their loss in the semi-final to claim 3rd place in the competition, beating Khalsa Hockey Academy (Amritsar) 5-1.
SAI-Academy put on a dominant display in the tournament from day one, winning the championship without facing a single defeat over the course of the competition.
Speaking on his wards' performance in the tournament, SAI-Academy head coach Prakhar Patel said, "Our performance over the course of the event was very positive. My team adapted to the playing conditions early on and coped quite well. I'm very happy with the defence line as a whole, as well as our penalty corner conversion rate. Moreover, we have managed to defend penalty corners efficiently as well."
Looking back on the final and analysing his team's display, he said "We missed some chances in the final which we should have converted, but our defence line held up particularly well and won us the match. We faced a very tough final opponent in Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy and I am glad that we overcame the last hurdle successfully."
Patel also expressed his gratitude towards Hockey India. "Events like this are very helpful for the players as they offer international level competition and exposure in a national-level event. Playing under the floodlights in an international stadium is very special for the junior players and it motivates them and helps them grow towards a higher level," he said. (ANI)