A dream come true moment for many in the Indian Women's hockey team was when they made it to the Rio Olympics squad! After all, qualifying after 36 years, is a feat in itself and the girls are keen to make the most of this opportunity in Rio. How has the team settled down in Rio in the last week? Some nerves, some memorable moments but all in all the team is focussed!
The team - some fresh faces and some vastly experienced!
The Indian eves will begin their Rio 2016 campaign on 7 August 2016. They arrived a week earlier to get acclimatized to the conditions and train harder. Here is a quick look at the team.
The team looks focussed leaving behind all bygones, like the last minute unneeded controversy over Ritu Rani’s exclusion. This augers well for our preparations in Rio.
Striking to do activities of your bucket list!
You are happy when you achieve things in your wish list and the girls must be feeling the same now. The Indian team met some of their idols in the form of ace Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal and Indian tennis legend Sania Mirza. Snaps here:
The players would have had plenty to take home in their interaction with these superstars. They would have shared their mammoth and big tournament experience with the Indian players. There would have been pleasantries and wishes exchanged from both side, as for some it is the first time while for others it might be the last! Now that the Indian girls have got their dose of motivation by meeting their favorite stars, they would come out all guns blazing! The team would need to settle their initial tournament jitters and not get overawed by the greatness of this spectacle
Upsetting higher ranked teams
The Indian team has the pedigree to outsmart their opponents on any given day, With a renewed self-belief and discipline they will upset some teams above their ranking for sure.
Recognition, fame and the future of women’s hockey!
Sushila Chanu, who has been appointed the new captain of the women's team, is humble and down to earth, much like her colleagues. She says and I quote:
"I have given 33 interviews in a day, something I'm not used to. However, we have to perform well so that no one can point fingers at us or say that we qualified by chance.”
It says much about the team and its maturity. They know that for getting some recognition for the sport and themselves in a cricket crazy nation, they would have to battle it out on the pitch. A more than decent performance at the Games will help prosper women's hockey in India in the near future. It will gain much-needed popularity and convince many women to consider hockey as a professional sport.
With a rise in the number of followers, Hockey India would maybe then plan for a women’s league, albeit with lesser teams. This would serve as a perfect recipe for the development of women’s hockey in the coming years.
Predicted possible finish: At least 5th position, i.e. they would better their rankings!
Watch the Indian tigress prowl and hunt their opponents!
"Ab toh .. Badal parr paun hai ... Chal padi apni ye naav hai! Aaj kuch kariye, Chak De India!”
(They are on cloud 9 and the boat has set sail. Do something today and make us all proud!)
Published 06 Aug 2016, 09:45 IST