Connect with us

Sports News

CWG 2022: Can Savita Punia inspire women’s hockey team to win over Australia?



The Indian women’s hockey team will look to draw inspiration from the success of the Tokyo Olympics when they take on mighty Australia in the second semi-final of the Commonwealth Games here on Friday. India defeated Australia 1-0 in the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Olympics last year. And on Friday, the Savita Punia-led side would like to repeat here. But it would be easier said than done, as Australia has been the dominant force in the Commonwealth Games ever since hockey’s introduction at the Games in 1998, with four gold medals in six editions.

Ahead of the semi-finals, the FIH released an interview with the India captain, where she talks about how she took to the sport, the evolution of women’s hockey in India and the impact of a fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics.

Here are the excerpts

Q: Can you share your journey with the Indian hockey team? Feelings and feelings from the debut to the captaincy of the team now?

A: ‘I started playing hockey in 2004 and made my debut for India in 2008. My parents believed that I would play for India someday. I guess I wasn’t completely dedicated to playing hockey, but that was the first time I played for India, and when the national anthem was played in the stadium, I decided not to hold back. I decided that I will do whatever I can with full devotion for my parents, for my country and for myself. I am very happy with the progress I have made since that day, and even the progress we have made as a team; Which makes me very proud as a captain.

Q: How has hockey developed in India during the time you are playing, especially women’s hockey?

A: When I started playing in 2008, our seniors used to say that they struggled a lot, they didn’t get much exposure, but since then I think we have been very lucky, because from the very beginning, Hockey India has been a part of my career. The work he has done for us is great. We need not ask for anything, because everything has been given to us without asking. Hockey India, Sports Authority of India and Government of Odisha have all come together to provide us a platform where we can now compete against the top teams of the world, and feel that against whom we are playing, we have There is a chance to defeat them. So, I think that’s been the biggest difference. Having more exposure has resulted in better performance overall.

Question: What does the success of the women’s team mean for hockey in India?

A: Our best performance so far has been at the Tokyo Olympics, where we finished in the top-4, and missed out on just one medal. But honestly, I believe, and the whole team believes that we deserve more. We underperformed our expectations in the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup 2022 but the results we got were better than ours. However, we have to focus on the upcoming events and bring home medals for our country.

Q: Message for fans and how they can support you.


A: The fans have supported us and hockey is especially dear to India, so all I can ask is that they continue to support us, which inspires us so much. I know everyone had high expectations from us in the World Cup. We also had high hopes as there was a lot of improvement after the Olympics. The results don’t match that, but if you keep sending your best wishes from us, we will keep improving in the upcoming tournaments. Thank You!

(with PTI and FIH inputs)

Topics mentioned in this article