Belief of winning Olympic medal motivates us: Hockey captain Manpreet

With 75 days to go for the Tokyo Olympic Games, India hockey captain Manpreet Singh has said that despite the setback of a postponed European tour due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the team believes it has a good chance to win a medal.

“We are extremely disappointed at not being able to travel to Europe for the FIH Pro League Games against Germany and Spain. Those matches would have certainly helped in our preparations. But we understand these are unprecedented times,” said Manpreet, who is training with the team at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru.

“We strongly believe we have the best chance to win a medal at the Olympics and this belief is keeping everyone motivated and optimistic. Our training now has been planned in such a manner that we peak at the right time and also we are clocking long hours in the sun to get our bodies acclimatised to the hot conditions in Tokyo,” he said.

The team will continue to remain in Bengaluru, where the coaches will device “systematic training”, which will help the team peak at the right time.

Women’s captain Rani, on the other hand, expressed relief that all the seven players who had tested Covid-positive recently will resume training this week.

“We are relieved that all the (recovered) players are doing fine and have geared up to resume training. We are taking all precautions on campus too so that we stay healthy and injury-free in the lead-up to the Games,” she said.

“With travel restrictions in place, we understand we will need to remain in SAI Centre, Bengaluru and train. This is perhaps the same situation for some of the other countries too. Despite these setbacks, we will continue to pursue our goal of doing well in Tokyo. The next 75 days are crucial, and we are upbeat as a group.”