Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], April 23 (ANI): Indian Women's Hockey team's Namita Toppo said their target of winning an Olympic medal has not changed despite the postponement of the games.
"Our target was always to win an Olympic medal, and even with the postponement, that does not change. It definitely gives us more time to be prepared for next year and to perform really well," Hockey India's official website quoted Toppo as saying.
"I feel our team is also fortunate enough to not have any aging players, and this group of players has been playing together for a long time, and I believe one more year of experience will only help us in achieving our goal," said the winner of the Hockey India Asunta Lakra Award for the Upcoming Player of the Year 2014," she added.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the Olympics will take place from July 23 to August 8 next year while the Paralympics Games will be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
Currently, both the Indian Men and Women Hockey Core Probables are at the Sports Authority of India, South Campus here in Bengaluru.
The 24-year-old, who completed the feat of winning 150 International Caps for the country in July 2018, returned to the side after a lengthy injury lay-off in September 2019.
Toppo admitted she was struggling during her time away from the team and feels that the lengthy spell on the sidelines made her stronger.
"I was really struggling when I was away from the team. It was close to 9-10 months that I was out of the side, and was nursing my injured knee. I had injured my meniscus, which basically means I had torn my knee cartilage during the Asian Games 2018," she said.
"I was really worried at first because I was not sure how long it would take for me to come back, especially with the Olympics only a couple of years away. But when I look back now, I think that lengthy spell on the sidelines made me stronger," Namita added. (ANI)