Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], October 2 (ANI): Indian women's hockey team midfielder Monika feels that focus on fitness during the coronavirus enforced lockdown has helped the side in their ongoing Olympics preparations.
Monika has been part of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the FIH Women's Series Finals Hiroshima 2019 and the silver medal at the Asian Games in 2018. However, the 26-year-old has always set her eyes on winning an Olympic medal as her ultimate target.
"We are slowly getting back into the groove by carrying out our sports activities. It was imperative for us that we focused on our fitness when we were away from the pitch during the lockdown. It has definitely helped us immensely to raise our intensity once we were back on the field for our preparations for the Olympics," Monika said in a Hockey India release.
"We have done well in many competitions in the last few years, but the Olympics has always been the biggest stage for me. We have to do everything we can to win a medal for India. We are very lucky that Hockey India and SAI have taken care of all the precautions that need to be taken during this time so that we can focus on our ultimate target with nothing else on our minds," she added.
The midfielder added that the entire team felt very fortunate to stay at the SAI campus in Bengaluru during the lockdown as they could continue to use the facilities for their fitness drills.
"We were very fortunate to be staying at the SAI campus during the lockdown and I would definitely laud the efforts put in by Hockey India and SAI to ensure that we were given basic essentials in a safe manner and we had the training facilities at our disposal which helped us to keep fit. It's not easy to create a safe environment during a pandemic and I think Hockey India and SAI have done a wonderful job in the last few months," said Monika.
The 26-year-old added that the members of the Indian team have grown closer to each other since they have spent a lot of time in the SAI campus.
"Winning at the Olympic stage will not only happen through great skill, but the players need to have great camaraderie as well. All of us have always had great coordination on the pitch during matches, but I think after spending so much time together at the SAI campus, we have grown much closer to each other which will definitely help us to have a much better camaraderie on the field going forward. We have all kept each other motivated during this difficult period and ensured that we are focussing on our goal of winning an Olympic Medal," said Monika. (ANI)