Indian women's hockey team forward Jyoti has credited seniors for guiding her in crunch moments at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, where Savita Punia led side ended a 16-year medal drought at the quadrennial event.
The women's team returned to India on August 9 after clinching a memorable bronze at CWG 2022. The medal was a poignant achievement for Jyoti because it was her maiden appearance at the illustrious mega sporting event.
"The Commonwealth Games was especially important for me because this was my first appearance for the team at a multi-discipline event. Winning the Bronze Medal filled us up with an immense sense of pride and joy and is a true reward for everyone's efforts connected to the team. The Bronze Medal has surely made this outing doubly special for me," the 22-year-old said in a HI release.
Talking further about her experience in Birmingham, Jyoti said that she understood that losing and winning will always be an important part of any tournament.
"My whole experience of the Games was amazing. We won our matches against Ghana, Wales and Canada but lost to England in the group stages. I also understood that losing and winning will always be an important part of any tournament," she said.
"We were not favourites for a Medal at the CWG 2022, but we were able to clinch the Bronze Medal despite all the external doubt. That is why this achievement is so special as we exceeded everyone's expectations," she added.
The rising star from Sonipat also spoke about the strides she has made since becoming part of the squad,
"The players and coaching staff have really helped me improve my game. Now I feel a lot more confident while carrying the ball and my off the ball movement has improved drastically. The coaching staff have also given me a lot of confidence to try something different and creative on the field," she said.
Jyoti also talked about the influence of chief coach Janneke Schopman, "Janneke has helped me improve my game. She has taught me how to make the game simple and easy for myself, I do not ponder on the ball anymore and look to move it as swiftly as possible. Her hands-on approach during practice sessions has bought out the best of my abilities."
At CWG 2022, the young also dealt with the pressure that comes from being part of the Indian women's hockey team at a mega sporting event.
"The CWG 2022 was the biggest tournament of my life yet, and there is always added pressure you have to deal with at this level, but the senior members of the team really helped me and guided me. Now before getting on to the field, I take a deep breath to compose myself and focus myself to complete the task at hand," she said.
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