Update: April 21, 2022 3:37 p.m. STI
By Gurmeet Raj Batra
New Delhi [India]Apr 21 (ANI): Indian women’s hockey team striker Vandana Katariya, who competed in India’s historic fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, says the team is aiming for gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Vandana achieved a rare feat by becoming the first Indian hockey player to score a hat-trick in Olympics history. The hockey star was also part of India winning gold at the Asian Champions Trophy in 2016, Asian Cup in 2017, Asian Games bronze in 2014 and silver in 2018.
“Playing against South Africa, I didn’t have a particular strategy because we just wanted to win this game and we did. The whole team did a great job in Tokyo. The hat-trick was a surprise for me but we made it to the semi-finals, that was a big problem. We couldn’t win gold in Tokyo, but in the Commonwealth Games (CWG), we want to bring back a gold medal to the house. And that will be our focus for CWG 2022,” Vandana Katariya told ANI.
Speaking about the strategy and team plan for the Commonwealth Games 2022, Katariya said: “Our strategy is nothing but hard work on our game and we want to go home victorious and bring home a medal. ‘gold to our country this time.’
The two-time Olympian started her career playing for the Railway Sports Promotion Board and joined India’s junior women’s team in 2006. Katariya received the Padma Shri from President Ram Nath Kovind in March at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Regarding the Padma Shri she received last month, Vandana said, “It is an honor for me to receive the Padma Shri award. But it was also surprising because I didn’t expect it at all. I couldn’t believe it so I handed my phone to someone to check it for me and she confirmed the news. So it was both honoring and shocking to me.
India’s women’s hockey team will face Ghana in their opening game of the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the University of Birmingham on July 29. (ANI)