With less than three months remaining for the Tokyo Olympics, the mood in the national camp at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru which currently houses both the Indian Men’s and Women’s hockey teams is very positive. The core probables from both the teams have been sweating it out really hard as they aim for a spot in the final team which will travel to Tokyo and aim for a spot in the podium.
However, the team captains are very disappointed with their respective tours getting cancelled as most of the countries have handed India with a travel ban as the country experiences a massive spike in COVID-19 cases in the second wave. However, they also assured that the players are focused on their mission to do well at the Tokyo Olympics.
“When the FIH Pro League Games matches against Germany and Spain too were postponed, we were extremely disappointed because those matches would have certainly helped in our preparations,” said India men’s skipper Manpreet Singh in a Hockey India statement.
“But we understand these are really unprecedented times, and there are travel restrictions in place.”
“In these trying times, we would like to express our solidarity towards those who have lost their lives and also salute the frontline workers and covid warriors who are working round the clock to save lives,” Manpreet continued
The 28-year-old further highlighted how the circumstances do not change their goal and the players are also committed to the mission of winning a medal at the upcoming Summer Games.
“We strongly believe we have the best chance to win a medal at the Olympics. This belief has made us motivated and optimistic. We have planned our training in such a manner that we peak at the right time. We are also clocking long hours in the sun to acclimatize to the hot conditions in Tokyo,” Manpreet added.
Indian women’s team captain Rani Rampal who recently tested positive for COVID-19 has finally recovered and returned to training. We are relieved that all those players who were COVID-19 positive are all doing fine and have resumed training. We are taking all precautions so that we stay fit in the lead up to Tokyo,” expressed Rani.
“With travel restrictions in place, we understand we will need to remain in SAI Centre, Bengaluru and train. This is perhaps the same situation for some of the other countries too. Despite these setbacks, we will continue to pursue our goal of doing well in Tokyo. The next 75 days is crucial, and we are upbeat as a group,” she signed off.