Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], June 11 (ANI): Indian hockey team vice-captain Savita Punia cannot wait to get on the field to showcase her skills in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23 and the Games will run up to August 8. The event was slated to be held last year, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Savita, who is waiting for the Olympic Games since 2016, said she would have felt sad if the mega event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Obviously when we have a home crowd or fans in the stadium there is a different type of rhythm but we are happy that the Olympics is happening. Last year I had a thought in mind that what if Olympics gets cancelled," Savita told ANI.
"I have worked hard and I cannot wait for four more years so I am happy that the Olympics is taking place this year. I am excited for the Olympics and we as a team are motivated to do our best in Olympics.
"Even when I didn't know ABCD of sport, I knew about Olympics. Olympics is a dream of every athlete and we are motivated to perform well and we are ready for the Games," she added.
Several hockey players had tested positive for the coronavirus upon return from their respective hometowns to their training base at SAI Bengaluru in April.
All the players and support staff were asymptomatic and were isolated before they recovered from COVID-19.
Sharing her experience about the same, Savita said, "Don't take it lightly, we must take every precaution but since the sportspersons' immunity is quite strong so we recovered quite easily. We are still taking precautions and our staff also helped us to recover soon.
"I didn't have that many symptoms and I started work out in four-five days. Honestly, I didn't feel much when we were in quarantine for 14 days. Training post-COVID wasn't that difficult as we had many examples in front of us who had battled against coronavirus and took the field," she added.
Savita feels the team's preparations are on right track for the Olympics and the players should only focus on the Games.
"I feel we are on the right track when it comes to training but at the same, we cannot afford to lose our concentration ahead of Olympics. We are dedicated towards our goal and we are excited for the Olympics," said Savita.
"It will be a different challenge as we are talking about the Olympics and we know each and every team is training hard for the quadrennial event," she added.
The ace goalkeeper also said she wasn't happy with her performance in Olympics 2016 and that thought kept crossing her mind even after the tournament was over.
"In Olympics by default every team is best and as a goalkeeper, I have shared with my coaches and players that last Olympics wasn't good for us and I wasn't happy with my performance. But in the last few years, we have played quite a lot of games, and the more the experience, the more it will benefit a goalkeeper as it will allow him or her to take decision quickly," Savita said.
"I have always told the junior players that they must focus on their training and not on the medal as players tend to underperform when they are under pressure. Rather than overthinking about their past, players should always be in the present moment," she noted. (ANI)