The Indian ladies’s hockey group would look to attract inspiration from its Tokyo Olympics success when it takes on mighty Australia within the second semifinal of the Commonwealth Video games right here on Friday. India had surprised Australia 1-0 within the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics final yr. And are available Friday, the Savita Punia-led facet would look to do an encore right here. However it might be simpler stated than performed as Australia are by far the dominant pressure within the CWG with 4 gold medals in six editions since hockey’s introduction on the Video games in 1998.
Forward of the semi-final the FIH launched an interview with the India captain, the place she talks about how she took to the game, the expansion of girls’s hockey in India and the influence of the 4th-place end at Tokyo Olympics.
Listed here are the excerpts
Q: Are you able to share your journey with the Indian hockey group? The feelings and emotions from making your debut to captaining the group now?
A: ‘I began enjoying Hockey in 2004 and made my debut for India in 2008. My Mother and father believed that I’d play for India sometime. I believe I used to be not fully devoted to enjoying Hockey, however the first time I performed for India, and when the nationwide anthem performed within the stadium, I made a decision there was no going again. I made a decision I’d do no matter I may for my mother and father, for my nation and for myself with full dedication. I’m very proud of the progress I’ve comprised of that day to at the moment, and even the progress we’ve made as a group; which I really feel fairly happy with because it’s captain.
Q: How has hockey developed in India, particularly ladies’s hockey, within the time that you’ve got been enjoying?
A: After I began enjoying in 2008, our seniors used to say that they needed to wrestle so much, they did not get plenty of publicity, however since then I really feel like we’ve been very fortunate, as a result of because the starting for me, the work Hockey India has performed for us has been nice. We’ve not needed to ask for issues, as a result of we’ve been given the whole lot with out having to ask for it. Hockey India, Sports activities Authority of India and Odisha authorities have all come collectively to supply us the platform the place we will now compete towards the highest groups on this planet, and really feel like whoever we’re enjoying towards, we’ve an opportunity of defeating them. So, I believe has been the most important distinction. Having extra publicity has led to higher performances general.
Q: What does success for girls’s group imply for hockey in India?
A: Our greatest efficiency to date has been on the Tokyo Olympics, the place we completed within the top-4, and simply missed out on a medal. However actually, I consider, and the entire group believes, that we deserve extra. We completed decrease than our expectations on the FIH Hockey Ladies’s World Cup 2022 however our performances had been higher than the outcomes we received. We’ve got to refocus on the upcoming occasions although and produce house medals for our nation.
Q: Message for the followers and the way they will assist you.
A: Followers have supported us all through and hockey is very beloved in India, so all I can ask is that they proceed giving us the identical assist, which motivates us so much. I do know everybody had larger hopes from us within the World Cup. We had larger hopes too, having improved so much after the Olympics. The outcomes didn’t match that, however in the event you preserve sending your good needs our approach, we are going to preserve enhancing within the upcoming tournaments. Thanks!
(With PTI and FIH inputs)
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