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No drop in intensity as we prepare for Oly amidst lockdown, says Savita

No drop in intensity as we prepare for Oly amidst lockdown, says Savita

Bengaluru, Indian women's hockey team goalkeeper Savita Punia believes it is important for the team to look at positives in order to stay motivated amid the COVID-19 crisis which the country is currently battling with.

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed by a year and are now scheduled to be held in Summer 2021.

The women's hockey team believes the postponement has rather given them the opportunity to improve their game and stay more focussed on their goal of making a podium finish at the Tokyo Games.

"We are happy that we have one year to prepare for the Olympics. I don't think one year is a lot of time for such a big tournament," Savita told IANS in an exclusive interview.

"However, we have been performing well for the last two years and we are happy with the way our team has progressed. We will keep working hard and the aim is to finish top four in the Olympics," she added.

The team is currently placed at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Bengaluru and the players are working on their fitness and other skills.

"We are not able to carry out hockey sessions, but we are doing exercises such as individual running sessions and body weight training exercises. It's good that we are at the SAI centre and not at home since we can use the facilities here.

"We carry out exercises individually according to the training plan given to us and we also have one on one meetings with our support staff.

"It's a difficult time for everyone and not just us hockey players. It is important to look at the positives in such times to stay motivated," she added.

The 29-year-old further insisted that even without any hockey practice, they are training with the same dedication like they would have if the Olympics were held this year under normal circumstances.

"There's not much time left for the Olympics. We will not know when one year will pass by. So, we are still training with the same dedication like we would have if the Olympics was hosted this year," she said.

"We don't know when the situation will become better, we can only pray that everything becomes alright soon.

"We have discussed our plan for the next 15 months and we are still focussing on the Olympics. We are a motivated group and focussed on the quadrennial event," she added.

The Indian goalkeeper also advised people to stay indoors and follow the guidelines issued by the government in order to stop the spread of novel coronavirus.

"Take care of yourself and your family. Tell as many people as possible to not take the situation lightly."

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