Indian men's hockey team defender Birendra Lakra revealed that he is determined to make it to the Indian Olympic squad for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after he failed to represent the national team in the previous edition. Even though he is experienced, Lakra feels that his place is not guaranteed.
The Indian Men's Hockey Team Defender Birendra Lakra, who has been part of many memorable moments with the national side, expressed that he is very determined to make it to the Indian squad for the Olympics. Lakra, who has played 196 matches for the Indian team, missed out on the Rio Olympics due to a knee injury and therefore he is very keen on making it to the final team list for the Tokyo Olympics.
"It was really hard time for me in 2016 when I missed out on the chance of representing India in the Rio Olympics. After my recovery, my sole goal has been to ensure that I am fit and absolutely ready for the Tokyo Olympics. I have worked very hard on my game in the last five years, and I am very determined to make it to the Indian squad for the Tokyo Olympics. I am ensuring that I am playing at my absolute best during practice and giving my 100 percent in every training session," said the 31-year-old.
The Defender added that the Indian team's bench strength is fantastic and that no player can take his place for granted in the side.
"Even though I am one of the most experienced players on the Indian side, my place in the team is not guaranteed. There is a lot of competition for each of the positions and that is what keeps all of us on our toes. Everyone is determined to play and perform for India and therefore all of us make sure that we are giving everything we have during every practice session. Apart from skill development, we also make sure that we are giving enough attention to our fitness regimes as well," said Lakra.
The 31-year-old said that the team has gained a lot of confidence after playing well in the tour of Argentina in April.
"The tour of Argentina has given us a lot of confidence in our abilities. We played very well as a unit, and we took away a lot of positives from that tour. We noted down a few things that we need to work on post the tour and we are currently working on each of them at SAI. By the time the Olympics start, I think we will be fully prepared to play at our best," said the Defender.