Indian Women’s Hockey team can finish in top four in Tokyo Olympics, says Deepika Thakur

Deepika Thakur was recently awarded the Arjuna Award last month. Thakur spoke about the Indian Women's team preparations before the Tokyo Olympics next year.

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Indian Women’s Hockey defender Deepika Thakur

Experienced defender Deepika Thakur assured the Indian teams’ commitment to achieving the top four places in Tokyo Olympics. Thakur said the Indian team is focused on the upcoming tournaments after a break from Hockey.

Thakur is one among the 29 recipients of Arjuna Award this year. She said that the Indian team will bounce back and give their best once competitions resume.

“I certainly believe the team can bounce back. They were in good rhythm after winning back-to-back tournaments last year and they had done well in New Zealand earlier this year,” Deepika Thakur told IANS.

They were high on confidence too. This team is hungry to achieve success at the highest level and hence I am sure once competitions resume, they will bounce back and do everything in their capacity to finish top 4 in Tokyo,” she added.

“The current Indian side is very committed and focused. But when you have to be in national camps without competition, it is easy to feel less motivated,” stated the experienced defender.

National Camp will help improve players fitness: Thakur

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India Women’s Hockey Team

The National Hockey Camp started in early August this year after a five-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic. The national camp at the SAI facility in Bengaluru will continue till 12th December for the Women’s Hockey Team.

Deepika said that the national camp will help the players improve fitness and bring up the form lost during lockdown.

“Also, without competition, it is difficult to assess improvement. Hence, I would say it is a very crucial time for the team and each player should have her own yardstick and must work on raising the bar.”

“I am happy that the team was able to resume activities soon after nationwide lockdowns ended. Even though there may not be any competitions this year due to the prevailing travel restrictions, remaining in the national camp will allow the players enough time to return to old form and keep up their fitness level,” she added.

Thakur is currently the most experienced  Indian player in the Women’s Hockey team with more than 200 caps.  The defender said that the women’s team’s ‘fantastic’ exposure in the international circuit and planning the ACTC (Annual Calendar for Training and Competition)is one of the reasons for the team’s resurgence in Hockey.

Currently, the Indian Women’s team is ranked 9th in the FIH Women’s Hockey rankings.

Also Read: Our experienced midfielders group will be crucial for India’s success, says Indian hockey midfielder Nikki Pradhan

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