Akashdeep Singh stated the Covid-19 lockdown hasn’t shifted their focus from claiming a podium finish at the postponed 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The pandemic situation is worsening each day, even though the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams have re-started their training camps in Bengaluru.
Even though most of the sporting activities took a huge hit during the pandemic lockdown, the Indian hockey men’s and women’s hockey teams were exceptions, with them stuck at the SAI centre, in Bengaluru. While they were given a break following training camps midway through the nationwide lockdown, the players are back in the Southern metropolis and undergoing rigorous training in the build-up to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Indian men’s team forward Akashdeep Singh feels the entire situation owing to the Covid-19 outbreak hasn’t changed their target of claiming a podium finish at the mega event.
“For us there are no changes in the target. We have to improve ourselves as much as possible and win a medal at the Olympics. In the lockdown, we all got to know each other a lot. We never spent so much time with each other like this. Whether it be seniors or juniors, we were all telling ourselves that this one year will go and we just need to keep ourselves focussed on the task at hand," said Akashdeep Singh to IANS.
India might be the most successful hockey team in the history of the Olympics with 8 top finishes, but they are yet to win a medal since the 1980 Moscow Games. Going by the recent trend, the Indians have a bright chance to finish at the top three in Tokyo next year. With no competitions lined up in the near future, the players are focused just on bringing an end to the Olympic trophy drought.
“We are looking at the Olympics as our target, there are no tournaments planned for this year. The players were eager to get back to training. Now after so many months we are training properly with the stick and the ball which is what all the players wanted. It's going well, for now, we are concentrating on the basics," added the hockey player.