Bengaluru, Jun 10 (PTI) Experienced India women's hockey team midfielder Lilima Minz on Thursday said there is healthy competition in the side due to the emergence of many young talents and she will have to be at her best to guarantee a second Olympic appearance.
Lilima, a key player for India in the midfield, made her Olympic debut in 2016 Rio Games when the women's team qualified for the quadrennial event after 36 years.
Since then, she has been a regular in the Indian team, making 133 appearances so far.
'There are a lot of new and young players in this (national) camp who have brought a fresh approach and good healthy competition to the team.
'There is good competition for places in the final squad and I have to work hard and prove my worth for my inclusion if I want to make it there,' Lilima said.
'That is what keeps me motivated to keep performing, as it is every player's dream to play the Olympics, and I know that all our players are all doing the same,' added the 27-year-old from Odisha's Sundargarh district, famous for producing many international players.
Lilima said the mixture of youth and experience in the ongoing national camp here augurs well for the team.
'The Olympic core group right now there is a very healthy mix of experienced players and young players. This kind of balance allows the young players to have the guidance of senior members who know what it is like to play at the Olympic level before.
'At the same time, the young players keep the senior members on their toes as they know that there is someone who can replace them if do not perform well,' she said.
'The fact that several players from 2016 Olympics squad are present here in this camp is a good thing because sometimes players can get overwhelmed at a grand occasion like the Olympics. This is where players who have been there before can offer their much needed advice.' PTI SSC SSC AH AH