The Indian women hockey team have scripted history at the Tokyo Olympics, storming into the semifinals of the Games after beating hot favourites Australia in their maiden quarterfinals. A scintillating performance for the Indian women hockey team especially from Savita Punia, allowed them to beat the Aussies 1-0, in a historic finish for the former. Gurjit Kaur‘s drag flick in the second quarter allowed the Indian team to hold a lead over the Australian women.
It was Savita Punia who was the star of the show for the Indian team, as she stood strong defending the goal, in one of the best matches she and the team have ever played. Punia successfully defended 9 penalty corners against the Australians.
Savita Punia’s Journey to the Tokyo Olympics
Hailing from Haryana, Punia made her debut on the international circuit in 2008, a four nation event of Netherlands and Germany. At just 17, Savita made her debut on the national team after showing great potential in the junior team. In 2013, she participated in the women’s Asia Cup as a part of the Indian women hockey team, one of her best matches till date. Punia saved two crucial goals in the penalty shoot out, which helped India win a bronze medal.
Savita was a part of the bronze medal winning team at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Punia was instrumental in helping the women’s team qualify for the Rio Olympics after 36 long years. She saved a paramount goal against Japan, which helped them win 1-0.
In the 2018 Asia Cup, Savita showed her skills again, as she saved an exceptional goal against China, which allowed her to win the award of goalkeeper of the tournament, and a place in the 2018 World Cup in London. Her outstanding performance helped the women’s Indian team to beat Chile in the final match of the Women’s Hockey World League Round 2.
She was awarded the Baljit Singh Goalkeeper of the Year award at the Hockey India Annual Awards in 2015, for having phenomenal performances for India in international contributions which proved her worth as the best goalkeeper in the country. Savita Punia has been pivotal for the Indian women hockey team in securing several victories over the years.
Punia has held her nerve in all the matches at the Tokyo Olympics, and is the Great Wall for the Indian women hockey team.