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‘No One Expected Us To Win’- Goalkeeper Savita Spill Beans On India’s Heroic Tokyo Olympics Campaign

Indian hockey goalkeeper Savita stated that no one had any expectations from them at the Olympics but now everyone is behind her team.

Updated: May 27, 2022 2:11 PM IST

By Sports Desk | Edited by Gaurav Singh

Hockey, Indian Hockey, Indian Hockey Team, Sports., Olympics, Tokyo Olympics, Savita, Savita Punia, FIH, Pro League, FIH Pro League, Australia, Australia Hockey Team
Goalkeeper Savita played a key role in India's heroic Tokyo Olympics campaign. (Image: Hockey India)

New Delhi: One of the most successful goalkeepers in recent times, Savita revealed how the Indian women’s hockey team did a huge upset at the Tokyo Olympics. She stated that no one had any expectations from them but now everyone is behind her team.

She got candid in the latest episode of Hockey Te Charcha, a podcast series launched by Hockey India, where she spoke about living up to the expectations of performing well in every tournament following their successful outing in the Tokyo Olympics last year.

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She said, “Yes, no one expected we will go beyond the quarter-finals in the Olympic Games. Many of our supporters thought we would reach upto the quarter-finals at the outset, but I don’t think anyone believed we could win the quarter-finals. This zeal to win and not to give up till the last second of the match was inculcated by our coaching staff. We had to, and we knew we would change the script of Tokyo.”

“Having finished fourth in Tokyo, everyone took notice of us. Earlier, there were expectations from the men’s team only. But now, people expect the women also to finish in the top three in any tournament we play and that is good for the sport,” added the experienced goalkeeper who will lead the Indian team in the FIH Pro League matches in Europe ahead of the FIH Women’s World Cup which begins in July.

Speaking about the team’s preparations in SAI, Bengaluru, for the Pro League and World Cup Savita said, “There is a lot of excitement ahead of the Pro League matches in Europe as well as the Women’s World Cup. Last time, we exited in the quarterfinals but this time we will do our best to finish in the top 4.”

Having already dealt with the postponement of the Olympic Games which were rescheduled for 2021 due to the pandemic, the Indian team is yet again faced with the same situation where the Asian Games are postponed indefinitely. But Savita expressed optimism as she said, “We will once again deal with this postponement as an opportunity to train and be better prepared for the Asian Games. The one-year postponement for the Olympics gave us significant time to improve and personally for me, I got to work closely with Janneke who had a great impact on my improvement as a goalkeeper.”

Savita also touched upon her growth as a player, taking on a new role as the captain of the team and being resilient. She even spoke at length about the team’s camaraderie.

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