Ultimate goal is to create history at Tokyo Olympics, says India women's hockey team player Neha Goyal
Neha Goyal, who has played 75 matches for the national team so far, is currently at the SAI South Centre in Bengaluru for the national camp which concludes on 30 September.
Bengaluru: Indian women's hockey team midfielder Neha Goyal on Monday said after a successful 2019 and a COVID-interrupted current year, their ultimate goal right now is to create history in Tokyo Olympics.
"Our sole focus is on the Tokyo Olympics at the moment. We have been working hard on our fitness in the last few months and we will do everything we can to keep getting better at our game in the next few months.
"We had a fabulous 2019 after winning the FIH Women's Series Finals and booking a place in the Olympics through the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers," Goyal was quoted as saying by a Hockey India statement.
"We have competed well against top teams in the recent past and therefore we have the belief that we can make history in Tokyo next year. It's our ultimate goal," added the 23-year-old.
Goyal, who has played 75 matches for the national team so far, is currently at the SAI South Centre in Bengaluru for the national camp which concludes on 30 September.
Recollecting the hardships she and her family faced while trying to pursue a career in hockey, Goyal said: "It was really tough for me when I started playing hockey in the fifth standard. My mother would work day and night to make sure that we had enough food and therefore it was very difficult for her to save some money for my equipment.
"And once I made it to the top level, I faced numerous injuries and was out of the Indian team for a long time. However, the most important thing for me was that I never gave up."
Goyal considers former India captain Pritam Rani Siwach as her inspiration.
"When I was in the fifth standard, I used to see Pritam didi's photographs in the local newspaper and I used to go and watch her play in a local ground. One day she asked me why I go to the ground everyday and it was then I told her that I want to play the game," she said.
"Since my parents couldn't afford hockey equipment for me, Pritam didi provided the equipment to me and encouraged me to work hard on my game. I wouldn't have reached where I am today without her support."
While India may not finish last even if they lose to Japan on Thursday, the loss will take the hosts to their worst placing ever, which will be between 13 and 16.
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