Home » We’re More Determined Than Ever to Finish on The Top at Asian Games: Savita Punia

We’re More Determined Than Ever to Finish on The Top at Asian Games: Savita Punia

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India women hockey team captain Savita Punia (Twitter)

Savita said the Indian women’s hockey team is more determined than ever to claim gold at the Asian Games

The Indian women’s hockey team is more determined than ever to claim the gold medal in the upcoming Asian Games after suffering a heart-breaking loss in the final in 2018 edition, said Commonwealth Games (CWG) medallist skipper Savita.

The Asian Games is scheduled to be held in Hangzhou in September and October.

“In the last Asian Games, we came close to winning the gold medal; and losing only by a goal to Japan (1-2) in the final was heart-breaking. This time we feel that we are more determined than ever before to finish on the top,” Savita said in the latest episode of Hockey Te Charcha, a podcast series launched by Hockey India.

“Every player in the team knows that we have to win the gold to earn direct qualification for the Paris Olympics. This is the best scenario for us, so that post-Asian Games, we can shift focus on the FIH Pro League and then Paris 2024.”

Having taken over the captaincy post Tokyo Olympics, Savita emphasised that she is enjoying the dual role of goalkeeping and leadership.

“There is an extra responsibility when you are leading the team. Even when I was not the captain, I knew that I had to share the leadership duties and help the team as a goalkeeper,” said Savita, who recently won the prestigious Hockey India Balbir Singh Senior Award for Player of the Year (Women).

“As a senior member on the side, it was my responsibility to help young and less-experienced teammates by sharing my experience with them.”

The star goalkeeper said Indian women’s hockey has grown by leaps and bounds, offering financial independence to the players.

“If I compare today’s situation to what it was in 2008 when I joined the team, there’s a massive change and the respect for women’s hockey in the country has grown multifold. Whether it’s about facilities, exposure or recognition, women’s hockey is getting its due,” she said.

“When I started playing hockey, the situation was not that great and I had to wait for nine years to get a job. There were some players who were not even sure of getting two square meals a day.

“But now, the players are able to build houses for their families. They have regular jobs. And even the youngest member of the team is doing well financially and this shows that the sport is actually moving in the right direction.”

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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