Indian men’s and women’s hockey team registered one of their finest performances at the Olympics in Tokyo. The men’s team won a medal after a gap of 41 years while the women’s team finished fourth, their best-ever finish at the Olympic Games. After their splendid show at the Tokyo Games, goalkeepers from both teams PR Sreejesh and Savita Punia, in an exclusive chat with NDTV, revisited their Olympic journey. Sreejesh also revealed why he didn’t watch the cliffhanger bronze medal match between India women’s hockey team and Great Britain.
“When we were watching watching their semi-finals match, we were preparing for our next game. We were doing a team meeting, we stopped the meeting and put the live telecast on the projector. You wouldn’t believe I never had that much pressure, sitting there and watching that match. I never felt that pressure even when playing World Cup or Olympics or anything. I could literally see my heart beating outside my t-shirt,” Sreejesh told NDTV.
“Believe me the next match, when they were playing for the third-fourth position, I said I am not going to watch it, because I will die. I just kept track of the live data to know what is happening,” Sreejesh added.
While the men’s team clinched a thrilling win over Germany in their bronze medal match, women’s team came agonisingly close, losing their bronze medal tie by a goal. They lost to Great Britain 3-4 to finish fourth at the Tokyo Olympics.
Savita Punia, women’s hockey goalkeeper, said that she wasn’t happy with her own performance in the last Olympics in Rio and wanted to do better for the team in Tokyo. But the way things ended, she couldn’t control her emotions on the field.
“Last Olympics didn’t turn out to be good for the whole team and especially I wasn’t happy with my own performance. I was focussed on doing well this time and the way it ended, I just couldn’t control my emotions and broke down,” Savita said.
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