Indian women’s hockey team midfielder Monika believes the team is slowly getting back into the groove by carrying out their sports activities during the national camp as part of their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics which has now been scheduled for next year due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are slowly getting back into the groove by carrying out our sports activities. It was imperative for us that we focused on our fitness when we were away from the pitch during the lockdown,” said Monika.
“It has definitely helped us immensely to raise our intensity once we were back on the field for our preparations for the Olympics,” she added.
The midfielder, who has played 150 matches for India, has been part of many important moments for the Indian team such as the gold medal victory at the Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019 and the silver medal-winning campaign at the Asian Games in 2018. However, the 26-year-old has always set her eyes on winning an Olympic medal as her ultimate target.
“We have done well in many competitions in the last few years, but the Olympics has always been the biggest stage for me. We have to do everything we can to win a medal for India,” Monika said.
“We are very lucky that Hockey India and SAI have taken care of all the precautions that need to be taken during this time so that we can focus on our ultimate target with nothing else on our minds,” she added.
The 26-year-old further said that the members of the Indian team have grown closer to each other since they have spent a lot of time in the SAI campus.
“Winning at the Olympic stage will not only happen through great skill, but the players need to have great camaraderie as well. All of us have always had great coordination on the pitch during matches, but I think after spending so much time together at the SAI campus, we have grown much closer to each other which will definitely help us to have a much better camaraderie on the field going forward,” she said.
“We have all kept each other motivated during this difficult period and ensured that we are focussing on our goal of winning an Olympic medal,” added Monika.