Sports Desk- On one hand the whole world is fighting the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID19), on the other hand, the Indian hockey team is practicing vigorously. The Indian men’s hockey team chief coach Graham Reid believes eight-time champions India are better placed than their opponents when it comes to preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, as unlike other nations the deadly COVID-19 hasn’t hampered their training program.
Due to Covid-19, the Indian men’s and women’s hockey team, practicing inside the SAI center, is happy to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics in a safe environment. It is obviously disappointing that India won’t be able to travel to Germany and England for their FIH Pro League matches after the competition was put off till May due to the spread of the disease, but Reid tried to look at the positives in these trying times.
The Pro League has just been postponed. He praised the steps taken by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India despite the ever-increasing threat of coronavirus.
“The authorities were quick to take action and isolate the SAI Centre. We are isolated but we can carry out our normal schedule. Things are very smooth. We can’t control the virus but we can control our environment,” Reid told PTI in an interview from SAI South Centre in Bengaluru.
“Things are changing on a daily basis but one of the great things is our ability to continue training which other countries don’t have. Australian players are based on their families and train in Perth. Argentines have a centralised program but I don’t think they are training at the moment whereas, our entire group is together.
“We have 32 campers here and we can play competitive hockey against each other. We are playing internal games in international tempo. We are playing different styles of hockey every day. One day, we are playing like Germany, the next day like Australia,” Reid added.
India was supposed to travel to London for matches on 25 and 26 April and against Great Britain on 2 and 3 May, but the International Hockey Federation (FIH) gave the Pro League a go after the Kovid-19 pandemic. Postponed to 17 May, causing the match to be canceled.