New Delhi: Indian women’s hockey team midfielder Salima Tete, who played an integral part in India’s fine performance at the Tokyo Olympics, said on Tuesday that even though the side couldn’t finish on the podium, it had shown signs of a bright future.
India gave a tough fight to some of the top teams in the world at the Olympics and made history when they defeated three-time Olympic champions Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinal and played in their first-ever Olympic semifinal against Argentina.
“Our performance in Tokyo is slowly starting to sink in now. We were really dejected when we lost to Great Britain in the bronze medal match, but now we are seeing the positives from the tournament. We may not have won a medal, but we have certainly gained a lot of confidence from the way we played in Tokyo and it’s definitely going to help us to grow as a team and produce much better results in the future,” said the 19-year-old.
Tete added that she feels blessed to have received the opportunity to play in an Olympic Games at a very young age.
“The Olympic Games is the biggest tournament for any sportsperson and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity of performing for my country at the biggest of stages. I have learned a lot by playing in high-pressure situations and I am certainly going to use my learnings in the upcoming competitions. One learns a lot when one is against the best and we are very happy with the way we gave a tough fight to each of our opponents in the knock-out stage of the Tokyo Games,” said the midfielder.
Asked about the most important things that helped India perform well at the Olympics, Tete said, “We always found a way to push the ball forward and attack our opponents in the Olympics. We created many goal-scoring opportunities and ensured that we utilized our Penalty Corners well. And also we gave everything we had on the pitch and never gave up, no matter what the situation was. The never-give-in attitude helped us to stay in the moment and keep fighting against our opponents until the final whistle was blown.”