Pearne-Webb believes Team GB can defend Olympic gold in Tokyo

Great Britain captain Hollie Pearne-Webb thinks the hockey team have a good chance of defending their title in Tokyo

Great Britain Hockey’s women’s captain Hollie Pearne-Webb believes the Team GB side is in with a chance of returning from Tokyo 2020 with a gold medal, writes Alice Reeves-Turner.

Great Britain thrashed Chile 5-1 in their Olympic qualifier match, earning themselves a place at Tokyo 2020 and the chance to defend their historic title by reclaiming gold.

Great Britain and England Ladies Hockey has struggled to reach their full potential since winning gold at Rio, failing to win a medal at the summer’s Euros leading way to suggestions that the side may struggle in Tokyo.

But after their Olympic qualifier performance, captain Pearne-Webb is confident in her side.

Pearne- Webb was part of the side who triumphed at Rio 2016, scoring the winning penalty; however, she doesn’t believe the pressure of this result will affect the current side.

She said: “We’ve got a different squad completely so our aims are based on us, we are not looking back.

“We don’t have any pressure just because we are the reigning champions. But I think all of us will want a gold medal so I think that will be our aim.

“I think going into Rio people had wrote us off and I think it will probably be the same if people were looking at us now.

“I think every single one of us in our squad know we have so much more to give and over the next 8 months we will try and develop that. There will definitely be a chance of us getting gold at Tokyo.”

But, despite the 29-year olds belief that her side will succeed when they reach Tokyo, she is aware of the work Team GB hockey must put in if they want to reclaim Gold.

Pearne- Webb said: “I think we’ve got some big strides to make. We’ve made some big strides, but it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster over the last three and a bit years.”

“Now we’ve sort of settled. We’ve got things we need to work on but it’s really exciting now. We know we’re going to Tokyo so now we can just push on and develop in the areas we need to work on”

“It’s a hard eight months ahead for us all. We all want to be on that plane to Tokyo, so competition and training is going to be even more important and harder than ever. There’s going to be competition for those sixteen places”