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Team shaping up very well for Olympics, says Mandeep Singh

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Bengaluru, Feb 3 (IANS) Indian men’s hockey team forward Mandeep Singh believes the side is gearing up well for the Tokyo Olympics, slated to begin in July this year.

The Tokyo Olympics, which were slated to be held in July-August last year, had to be postponed to summer of 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The core probable group, which has been training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility in Bengaluru for the last three weeks, is currently carrying out high-intensity practice sessions with Olympics as their sole target.

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“We are giving our absolute best during the training sessions at the national coaching camp. Even though we don’t have an immediate tournament to aim at, we are not dropping our intensity and still giving our 100 percent during every training session,” said Mandeep who has played 157 matches for the national side.

“This is the time we have to prepare for the Olympics, and we are having high-intensity practice sessions with the quadrennial event as our sole focus at the moment. The team is shaping up very well for the Olympics,” he added.

The 26-year-old further said that the team is currently focusing on improving specific skills.

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“At the moment, we are focussing on our basics and carrying out skill-based sessions apart from our training in the gym. We have been doing specific drills on shooting, defending and tackling and the team has improved in each one of the skills in the last few weeks. It’s been great to see the way everyone has been putting their best effort in every session we have been doing,” said Mandeep.

He expressed that all the members of the team are motivating one another to keep working hard during training sessions.

“Apart from maintaining good physical fitness, staying mentally strong is also very important for us. The great thing is that we are at the SAI campus in Bengaluru.”

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“We all live like a family here and the environment is wonderful for us. We support each other during good and bad times and all of us have been motivating each other to keep giving our best in every practice session for the team. That’s how we maintain our physical and mental fitness,” said Mandeep.

–IANS

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