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Tokyo show changed our mentality and instilled self-belief: women’s hockey player Goyal

Neha Goyal (R) of India in action against Shona McCallin of Britain at the Tokyo Olympics. File.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian women’s hockey team mid-fielder Neha Goyal says their inspirational performance at the Tokyo Olympics has changed the mentality of the side and instilled self-belief in players.

The team missed out on its first-ever Olympic medal but produced its best-ever show in the history of the quadrennial with a fourth place finish.

“Our performance at the Tokyo Olympics has changed our mentality and given us the self-belief to compete with any team in the world. Our win over Australia in the quarterfinal brought about a shift in our mentality,” the 24-year-old player said.

“Coming into that match, Australia had topped their pool by winning all their matches. Defeating them gave us a lot of confidence, which we will carry with us going forward as we prepare to play more important tournaments in the future.” For Goyal, who made her Olympics debut in Tokyo, competing at the Games was a landmark moment of her career.

“I was nervous before the occasion, but very excited. It has always been my dream to play in the Olympics since I started playing hockey. This was my first time, so I did not take too much pressure upon myself and tried to enjoy the moment.

“I also gained some confidence in our tours of Argentina and Germany before the Olympics, where I felt that we were able to compete well with some really good teams,” she said.

Goyal now wants to further polish her individual game to be able to contribute more to team’s success in future competitions.

“As a team, our next target is to do well at the Asian Games and the World Cup next year. I am continuing to work on my own game so I can continue to contribute to the team’s fortunes.”

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 8:37:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/tokyo-show-changed-our-mentality-and-instilled-self-belief-womens-hockey-player-goyal/article36664242.ece

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