Gurjit Kaur hails a new era in Indian women’s hockey

India's defender and drag flicker Gurjit Kaur in action. (Photo courtesy Hockey India)
India's defender and drag flicker Gurjit Kaur in action. (Photo courtesy Hockey India)
Hari Kishore M

Drag flick specialist Gurjit Kaur was one of the standout performers for the Indian women’s hockey team's fourth-place finish at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

The 25-year-old's ferocious drag flicks kept India in the hunt. She scored the lone, match-winning goal from a penalty corner in her team’s historic 1-0 win over Australia in the quarterfinals. It meant the team advanced to their first-ever Olympic semifinals.

Although the Indian eves stumbled against Great Britain in the bronze medal playoff match, Gurjit Kaur said there were a lot of positive takeaways. Speaking to Hockey India, she explained:

“Even though we missed out on winning the medal by a whisker, there are a lot of positives to take from this dream campaign. People have started watching us and I am sure our performance will inspire young girls to take up hockey. The Tokyo Olympics 2020 marks the beginning of a new era of Indian hockey. We have gained a lot of confidence, we have become fearless, and going forward, it will certainly help us perform well in major tournaments. I also hope we get the same amount of love and respect going forward."

Gurjit Kaur nominated for FIH Award

Speaking about the goal she scored against Australia, Gurjit Kaur refused to read any more into her heroics and said:

"I think that's my job, and I just did it. My job is to dragflick, and I got a chance, which I converted. No doubt, my name was on the scoresheet, but that doesn't mean it was mine alone, it was a team goal. Each one of us contributed to it, from the defense line to midfielders, to strikers, who created the penalty corner, and eventually, it was my responsibility to convert it.”

Her efforts led to Gurjit Kaur being nominated for the FIH Women’s Player of the Year award for 2020-21. The defender was understandably elated at being nominated, and said:

"It's a huge thing for me to be nominated for the FIH Women's Player of the Year Award 2020-2021. For an athlete, it's one of the best things when all your hard work and sacrifices get recognized at a world level, and I am really happy to see my name on that list. It will give me extra motivation to do even better for the team."

Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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