Hockey: Best is yet to come, want to put Rio Olympics nightmare behind me says goalkeeper Savita

Indian women’s hockey team goalkeeper Savita says her best is yet to come and the side is determined to exorcise the ghosts of the Rio Olympics by creating history at the Tokyo Games.

The Indian women’s hockey team had qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics after a gap of 36 years but suffered a heartbreaking elimination at the group stage itself.

“… my best is yet to come, it is because my goal is to perform exceptionally for my team at the Tokyo Olympics, and make sure that I can put the nightmare of Rio Olympics behind me,” Savita, who hails from Sirsa, said in a release issued by Hockey India.

“I think our team was really raw at that point of time, and we did make a few mistakes. However, 2021 in Tokyo will surely be a great chance for our team to make history.”

Indian team is ranked ninth in the FIH World Rankings.

Savita, who has been a rock at the back for the Indian team for the past 12 years, said she lacked self-belief in the initial stage of her career.

“It is a funny thing that when I first started off, my self-belief and passion for the sport was really less as compared to other people. However, with time, I started falling in love with the sport, and I truly believe now that the best for me is yet to come,” she said.

The Indian hockey teams, who have been stationed at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus here, recently resumed training following the coronavirus hiatus.

The Indian goalkeeper said the team utilised the time spent during the lockdown to analyse the game of other teams.

“We have been doing our homework for the past couple of months where we have been studying and analyzing various aspects of our’s and our opponents’ game,” she said.

“It has been really good to hear about the return of hockey in some countries including New Zealand, and I speak for my entire team when I say that we cannot wait to get back to playing competitive hockey against the top nations.”

Savita said the break taught her patience and gave her more reasons to value the small moments of life.

“I have always been a very quiet person who is mostly calm, but I believe that the time we spent during lock-down has really taken my patience level to a new high,” the 29-year-old said.