Savita Punia: Indian Women's Hockey Captain Grapples with Olympic Qualifiers Heartbreak

Savita Punia: Indian Women's Hockey Captain Grapples with Olympic Qualifiers Heartbreak

The Indian women's hockey team's failure to qualify for the Paris Olympics has left a profound impact on captain Savita Punia. The team's fourth-place finish in Tokyo just three years ago had raised hopes, but the recent setback has shattered those dreams.

Punia, known as the "Great Wall" of Indian hockey, has been grappling with the disappointment. "Losing the Olympic qualifiers is such a bad moment that we will probably not be able to forget our entire life," she said. "I haven't been able to get over it yet."

In the aftermath of the qualifiers, Punia sought solace in yoga and meditation. She also returned to the field quickly, competing in the FIH Pro League and the ongoing Nationals in Pune. "The good thing about sports is that you have to forget the past and move forward very quickly," she explained.

Despite her efforts to move on, Punia admits that the pain of missing out on the Olympics lingers. "We were confident and well-prepared, but you cannot predict anything in sports," she said. "We all did our best and our preparation was very good. It's a lot about luck also."

Punia's husband has been a source of support during this difficult time. "He said that we could not change what happened but can look ahead and play as long as you want to play," she said.

The Indian team will now focus on the upcoming Pro League matches in Belgium in May-June. Punia believes that a new core group will emerge after the Nationals, and she is prepared for the changes. "Now a new core group will be formed and some new players will also come," she said. "The focus will be on fitness and drag flicks."

Despite the disappointment of missing out on the Olympics, Punia remains committed to hockey. "Hockey is my passion and the more I stay away from the field, the more it will bother me," she said.

Tags: #Hockey, #IndianWomen'sHockey, #SavitaPunia, #OlympicQualifiers, #Disappointment

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