Experienced Indian midfielder Navjot Kaur is back with the women's hockey team at the ongoing training camp at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru.
Kaur, who was part of the 18-member squad for the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG), suffered a huge setback as she tested positive for COVID-19 before the start of the campaign.
The midfielder, who has featured in over 200 international matches for India, was disappointed when she learned that she would not be a part of the quadrennial showpiece event. This was the first major tournament that Kaur missed.
The Savita Punia-led Indian women's hockey team earned a bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games after narrowly losing a controversial semi-final against Australia. India would then win a thrilling contest against New Zealand with a 2-1 scoreline in the shootout to finish third in the event.
Speaking about missing out on the CWG 2022 experience, Kaur told ANI:
"To be honest, it was disappointing to leave like that. It was very difficult and hard for me to accept. I haven't missed out on any major tournament ever before, so I was dealing with this situation for the first time in my career."
“I tested positive when I was in Nottingham where we were training before checking into the Games village. I had no major symptoms and was hopeful of getting back to the team by the time we moved to the village. I was being tested every day and unfortunately, it kept showing positive readings.”
Indian women's hockey team eyes FIH Hockey Pro League qualification
The Indian women's hockey team is currently training at the national camp of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus in Bengaluru.
Their next challenge will be the FIH Women’s Hockey Nations Cup in Spain. This is an important tournament for the team as it could provide direct entry into the Women's FIH Hockey Pro League.
Speaking about the same, Kaur said:
"We have got a good amount of time to prepare for the FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup in December 2022, which will help us qualify for the next edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League."
The Indian Women’s Hockey Team finished third in their debut campaign in the FIH Hockey Pro League during the 2021-22 season.