The 30-year-old feels that the team is ready to achieve bigger feats.
Over the past couple of years, the Indian women’s hockey team has established themselves as strong contenders in Asia having won Silver at the Asian Champions Trophy 2018, Asian Games in 2018 and Gold at the 2017 Asia Cup. Now, the team is ready for bigger feats feels India’s vice skipper and ace goalkeeper Savita Punia.
She said, “We have achieved good results at the Asian-level tournaments. Playing well in these events has given the team, particularly youngsters, a sense of what it really takes to do well at big tournaments. Now, I feel we are ready for bigger feats.”
It has been exactly two years since the Indian women’s team won silver at the Asian Champions Trophy in 2018. Commemorating the success, Savita said there is a lot of difference in how the team plays now.
The goalkeeper remarked, “In these three years we have grown a lot as a team and many of our young players have stepped up in their roles. We have improved our attack and we play with good speed, there are a lot of positive changes within the group. Infact our fitness levels have majorly improved over the years which has in turn helped us improve our overall performances.”
Throwing light on the mental toughness of the team, Savita feels they have developed the right temperament required to face top teams of the world. “With the exposure, we have got in this Olympic cycle, I feel we have developed the right temperament to play top-class teams. If you have seen our recent performances, we have tried to come back into the game after initial setbacks or after conceding early goals. We don’t give up until the last whistle,” she emphasized.
Speaking of the ongoing national coaching camp and the areas the team is focusing on, Savita said, “Our focus right now is on fitness and playing high-intensity sessions and setting our body clock to the time we will be playing in Japan.”
“The weather condition in Tokyo is going to be quite challenging and we are preparing for that as well. We are not letting the current pandemic situation hamper our spirit. We are staying optimistic, eyes set on our goal and pursuing each day with an aim to succeed at the Games,” she concluded.