Confident of improved performance, says dragflicker Gurjit Kaur ahead of Olympic Test event

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Bengaluru: The Indian women’s hockey team is all set to take part in the Olympic Test Event after their spectacular performance at the FIH Women’s Series Finals in Hiroshima in June. The Olympic Test Event will give the team a chance to work on a few aspects of their game before the all-important Olympic Qualifiers in October/November.

India’s lone dragflicker Gurjit Kaur, who was awarded for being the Highest Goal Scorer of the Tournament at the FIH Women’s Series Finals, will be one of the star attractions at the Olympic Test Event. Even though Kaur is the only dragflicker in the team, she doesn’t take any extra pressure and looks at the position as her responsibility.

“Dragflicking is a responsibility for me like everyone else has their own responsibilities. Some players have to attack for a goal, some players have to defend, that way, my responsibility is to ensure we score through PCs, which I work on. The exposure I have got over the past two years has only helped me grow in the team and improve my skills as a dragflicker,” Kaur said.

Kaur expressed that she didn’t have a deep understanding of dragflicking when she joined the Indian team. “I practiced and learnt dragflicking well after joining the Indian team then I got my chances and thereafter my confidence increased,” she added.

Gurjit Kaur, who returned for the FIH Women’s Series Finals in Hiroshima after recovering from a back injury, played a key role in India’s triumph in the competition in June. Kaur said that the team environment is great and the players are upbeat about their game. “Since we are backed by good preparations- thanks to the Special Camps held for defenders and goalkeepers, the team environment before the Olympic Test Event is great and we are upbeat and confident. In the past few weeks, we have worked on quite a few aspects of our game so we can do well against teams like Australia, China and Japan,” said Kaur.

Having beaten Asian countries in their previous tournaments, Kaur says her team is vying to do well against Commonwealth Games champions Australia during this Test event. “It will be a big confidence boost for us if we do well against Australia. In the past six months, we have done very well against teams like Japan, China, Spain and Ireland but a win against Australia will put us in good stead ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers,” she said.

The Indian team will take on Australia, China and Japan in the Olympic Test Event, beginning on 17 August 2019.

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