India jump to 9th spot in women's hockey rankings (Lead)
N0ew Delhi : Following their quarter-final finish at the Women's Hockey World Cup, India have jumped a place to be ninth in the world rankings announced by International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday.
Sjoerd Marijne-coached India have 1138 points as they made it to the last eight round at the World Cup in London last week.
India will be the top-ranked team at the Asian Games, to be held in Indonesia from August 18.
"The new ranking comes as an added motivation to our team for the upcoming Asian Games, but what is even better to see is that the players are not satisfied. There is more hunger in the squad to improve the ranking further by performing consistently at the highest level," Dutch tactician Marijne stated in a Hockey India (HI) release.
"We do have plenty of positives from the World Cup as the girls produced very good hockey, showing their grit and character to get through to the last eight."
World Cup runners-up Ireland made the biggest of gains as they moved from 16th up to eighth position. Their previous highest ranking was 14th.
World Cup winners the Netherlands remained the world's number one team as they clinched their record-extending eight title with a 6-0 triumph over the Irish girls. The Netherlands have been the top-ranked side since October 2011.
England remain in second spot following their sixth place finish in London while Australia jumped up to third, leapfrogging reigning Pan American champions Argentina, who move to fourth and Commonwealth Games champions New Zealand who dropped to sixth. Germany meanwhile move up to fifth.
Spain took the bronze medals in London to achieve their highest ever finish in World Cup history. Their 3-1 victory against Australia has seen them move up to seventh in the rankings.
Behind India are the likes of South Korea (10), China (11) and the US (12) -- all of them lost grounds after their poor performances at the World Cup.
Marijne said that the improvement in their performances at the World Cup was down to the team keeping their defensive structure intact consistently even when they were under pressure.
"One must note that we only conceded three goals in the whole tournament in London. The defence was very solid and that starts with our forward-line as your entire team contributes to a strong defensive structure," he said.
"We have placed special focus on our structure during matches and now we can see that the girls have come a long way in the past two years. They are now fully aware of their capabilities on the turf and I'm sure the new ranking will surely motivate them to excel at the Asian Games."
Talking about the rooms for improvement ahead of the Asian Games, Marijne said: "We only have a few days in camp to prepare ourselves, but we will be looking to ensure that our passing is 100 per cent accurate in our build-up play, and we must also improve our penalty corner conversion rate and take more shots on goal."