India's hockey captains upset at Tokyo Olympics 2020 postponement

Updated: Mar 26, 2020, 08:11 IST | PTI | Bengaluru

Personally, I was very disappointed because the team was in good rhythm as we approached the Tokyo Olympics

India's men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh
India's men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh

The news of Tokyo Olympic postponement is yet to sink in but India’s hockey captains Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal are confident that they will take the disappointment in stride while working hard for the next one year. "We had just finished the day’s evening session when chief coach Graham Reid informed us about the postponement of the Olympic Games," men’s team skipper, Manpreet Singh said. "I think the news is yet to sink in for us.

We were mentally gearing up for our first match on 25th July, so the disappointment is surely there but it is important for us to now look at the positives," he added. "Though, somewhere at the back of our minds we anticipated this could happen considering the impact Covid-19 has made across the globe, we had never let it affect our training or the intensity needed in every session," Manpreet said.

Expressing her team’s disappointment over the announcement, women’s team skipper Rani emphasised that her side will utilise the next one year to hone their skills further ahead of the Olympic Games in 2021.

Rani looks at positives

"We were already in a meeting when chief coach Sjoerd Marijne received the news and broke it to us. Personally, I was very disappointed because the team was in good rhythm as we approached the Tokyo Olympics. If you see our team’s performance in the past two years in specific, we have grown from strength to strength, challenging every top team in the world. We are looking at this postponement as a positive to continue to work hard and take our game to the next level" Rani said.

Javelin star Neeraj unfazed

Meanwhile, his much-awaited Olympic debut has been delayed by a year but star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra is unfazed as he feels humanity needs to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic more than anything else right now. "I think this was a welcome decision for us athletes in the circumstances and not something that came as a surprise. While we were looking forward to Tokyo2020, the environment wouldn’t have been appropriate for the event to be celebrated the way it should be," the Commonwealth and Asian Games champion said.

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