India women hockey team goalkeeper Savita Punia is focusing on the positives the forced break due to the coronavirus pandemic has brought with itself. With the Tokyo Olympics being postponed by a year, Savita says the team has now more time to fine-tune its preparations.Also Read - Asian Champions Trophy: Indian Women's Hockey Team to Begin Campaign vs Thailand
“It’s a difficult time for everyone and not just us hockey players. It is important to look at the positives in such times to stay motivated,” Savita told IANS. Also Read - India to Field Hockey Teams at Birmingham Commonwealth Games
She continued, “We are happy that we have one year to prepare for the Olympics. I don’t think one year is a lot of time for such a big tournament. However, we have been performing well for the last two years and we are happy with the way our team has progressed. We will keep working hard and the aim is to finish top four in the Olympics.” Also Read - Covid-19 Scare at Junior Hockey World Cup
Along with head coach Sjoerd Marijne, the team is currently staying in the Bengaluru centre of Sports Authority of India (SAI) where they are maintaining their fitness in the absence of hockey sessions.
“We are not able to carry out hockey sessions, but we are doing exercises such as individual running sessions and body weight training exercises. It’s good that we are at the SAI centre and not at home since we can use the facilities here,” she said,
“We carry out exercises individually according to the training plan given to us and we also have one on one meetings with our support staff,” she added.
However, the 29-year-old knows time flies so the players are ensuring the level of intensity before the postponement remains. “There’s not much time left for the Olympics. We will not know when one year will pass by. So, we are still training with the same dedication like we would have if the Olympics was hosted this year,” she said.
India have qualified for the Olympics for a second straight time, a first in their history and are targeting a top-four finish.
“We don’t know when the situation will become better, we can only pray that everything becomes alright soon. We have discussed our plan for the next 15 months and we are still focusing on the Olympics. We are a motivated group and focused on the quadrennial event,” she said.