The Indian Women’s Hockey team has only gone from strength to strength in the last few years and with Janneke Schopman and her girls putting in more effort, the Indian eves are due to achieve a lot more in Hockey in the upcoming events like the Asian Games and the Paris Olympics in two years’ time.
The Indian team in recent times have punched well above their weight and in that journey, one of India’s rising superstars Salima Tete has been very integral to everything that the team has achieved. Despite being one of the youngest members of the team, Tete puts in a major shift and has had a commanding presence on the field over others.
It has been a long and very tedious road for the Indian eves as they went for the Women’s World Cup in Spain and Netherlands followed by the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham so they have been out of India for over two months and it was mentally and physically tough for them. So they had to come back with something and the fans back home were glad that they edge out the bronze medal beating New Zealand in the penalty shootout.
Now back home in Simdega, Jharkhan Salima Tete shared the entire experience in Hockey India’s official podcast, “ Hockey Te Charcha’. She highlighted how the poor World Cup campaign made the team adamant that they had to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games and that is something that they achieved through a lot of hustle. “After we had a bad campaign at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup Spain and Netherlands 2022, the team’s aim and our focus was very clear. We wanted to do well at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, there was no other option. We were sure we had to get a medal before returning back to India. Kuch na kuch karna hi hai,” the 20-year-old shared the experience.
The youngster who has been one of the pillars of this Indian defence pointed out how meeting the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi was not only motivating but also something that pushes the entire team to do well again in these events especially to the younger players in their system.
“Meeting the PM was a very big thing for someone like me. All of us meeting the PM, is a source of motivation, so that we keep working hard and trying to achieve good results, and it is also very encouraging for the younger players coming through the system,” she added.
Lastly Salima tete shared how hockey has given her recognition and also made her village in Jharkhand renowned as a place from where she has emerged and played for India. She feels a sense of pride while her village’s name is known by her name and believes that the sport will open up more avenues for her in future.
“Before the Tokyo Olympics, no one knew about our village and after I came back, the focus on our native place has increased a lot. We have people visiting us from different places, people recognising the village I come from. It is really heart-warming. Even for my family, they feel very good when people come to visit. The whole atmosphere has changed and it makes me very happy.”
“Playing for India has really changed my life a lot, it has given me everything I could have asked for. I just want to keep performing for the country and winning more matches,” she signed off.
The Indian Women’s Hockey team created history by beating Australia at the Tokyo Olympics but they ultimately failed to win a medal by losing the Bronze medal match. They finished at a noteworthy fourth position at the Olympics. But their performance at the World Cup was nothing to write home about so they thought of making it up with a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games as they were beaten by Australia in a very controversial manner at the penalty shootout. Hence they featured in the third place playoff and fought tooth and nail against New Zealand before they ended up beating them and clinched the bronze medal. Now their primary aim will be do well at the Asian Games and ultimately step up at the Paris Olympics in 2024.