India women’s hockey forward Navjot Kaur has stated that the recent tours of Germany and Argentina will keep them in good stead ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The Sjoerd Marijne coached side played more than 10 matches but failed to secure a single victory in both the tours.
Returning to international action almost after a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian side started with a couple of draws against Argentina before going down in the following games. Against Germany too, the Rani Rampal-led side have lost all four of their games.
Navjot Kaur believes despite not getting a win, the players showed a lot of character in keeping the world No.2 Argentina and Germany always on their toes.
“Of course, the results were not what we had desired against Argentina. Otherwise, I would say our performances – both individually and as a team – was good, be it against Argentina or Germany, we actually learnt a huge deal from these tours,” Navjot Kaur said in a press release.
She admitted that the Indian women learned how the top teams prepare for the games that will help them get a better understanding and fine tune as a unit.
“There is a big difference between the top three sides and the rest of the world. All of us became a lot more aware of our overall game, and where we need to get better. We implemented what we had worked on during our training sessions over the past year,” Navjot Kaur added.
India women's team focussing on defence, attack - Navjot Kaur
The Indian women's team are currently in the national camp at the Sports Authority of India center in Bengaluru. Following the conclusion of the camp on April 7, the players will get a 10-day break.
“There are a few things that we are working on in camp; in defence and in attack. The fact that we could hold our own against some of the top sides in the world will help us immensely going into the Tokyo Olympics,” Navjot Kaur stated.
The 26-year-old Navjot Kaur, who was part of the Indian side at the Rio Olympics, also said that much has changed in the last five years. One of Marijne’s go-to players for goals, Navjot will have to play a bigger role in mentoring her teammates in Tokyo.
“In Rio de Janerio in 2016, I thought I was completely ready for the Olympics. Now, looking back at my journey, I’d say there is a lot about my game that has changed; physically, mentally or at a skill level. I’ve had to fight through inconsistent periods as well during this five-year period. I am looking forward to Tokyo and want to give my absolute best there,” Navjot Kaur concluded.