Bengaluru: Defender Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, who has played over 200 matches for the Indian men’s hockey team, believes that the side is shaping up well for the Tokyo Olympics since resuming sports activities in August amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kothajit said that the Indian team returned to the pitch at the right time and are moving forward with each sports activities session.
“It’s been great to be back on the pitch. We have seen a lot of improvement over the last two months and we are shaping up well for the Olympics. We have returned to the pitch at the right time and therefore we have enough months to get back to our full form and get even better as a side thereafter. We are really thankful to Hockey India and SAI for putting all the safety measures in place in quick time so that we can focus on the Olympics,” said Kothajit.
The defender, who returned to the national side in the Pro League 2020 after missing out on the Olympic Qualifiers, said he knows the aspects he needs to work on to cement a consistent spot in the Indian team.
“Being out of the side is never easy and therefore I am determined to work as hard as possible to cement my spot in the Indian team. I analysed my game thoroughly during the lockdown and I know the aspects of my game that I need to work on. The next few months are very crucial for all of us and with the Olympics being postponed, we have a great opportunity to strengthen our individual and team game even more,” said the 28-year-old.
Kothajit added that he feels very fortunate to be playing alongside players such as Harmanpreet Singh.
“I feel very lucky to be playing hockey in the current era. We have a great balance of youth and experienced players in the team, especially in the defence line. I am extremely fortunate to be playing alongside some brilliant players such as Harmanpreet,” he said.
“All of us try to inspire each other to get better and I think that’s a great environment to be in. Hopefully, we will make India proud at the Olympics next year,” added the defender.