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Left Out Initially, Varun Kumar Feels Lucky to Be a Part of Olympic Hockey History

Disappointed to lose out on a spot within the preliminary 16-member squad for the Olympics, Indian males’s hockey staff defender Varun Kumar considers himself fortunate to make a bronze medal-winning debut within the Tokyo Games after he was referred to as up within the aspect as an alternate participant owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Varun, a drag-flicker, and and mid-fielder Simranjeet Singh made their Olympic debut after they have been added to India’s squad following the International Olympic Committee’s choice to permit “alternate athletes” in staff occasions because of the pandemic.

“When the squad for the Olympics was introduced, my identify was not a part of the 16-member squad. I nonetheless keep in mind that day very effectively and I used to be evidently dissatisfied,” recalled Varun.

“But after a couple of days when IOC allowed hockey groups to develop to 18 gamers, Simranjeet and I have been referred to as up as alternate athletes. It got here as an enormous aid however someplace in the back of my thoughts I used to be nonetheless upset about not making it to the ultimate 16 and I actually wished to show myself.”

Varun additional said that skipper Manpreet Singh’s one-on-one chat with him earlier than the staff left for Tokyo helped him loads.

“It actually helped that captain Manpreet had a protracted chat with me and pumped me up mentally. Manpreet has been an enormous affect in my profession from a really younger age as we performed in the identical academy and him speaking to me made a whole lot of distinction.

“I ended beating myself up for not being adequate to make the 16-member squad. I began specializing in how I could make this chance rely and ship when the staff wants me,” said Varun.

What adopted in Tokyo is now a part of historical past because the Indian males’s hockey staff went on to clinch an Olymipic medal, bronze, after a hiatus of 41 years. Varun performed a key function in India’s 3-1 win over Argentina within the pool phases as he scored the primary aim of the match. He was efficient within the backline and impressed along with his efficiency each time he was referred to as up.

“It was certainly a improbable expertise in Tokyo. Winning the bronze and standing on the rostrum together with my teammates is probably the most effective second of my life. Now my precedence will likely be to enhance in each facet. “We have had a superb break after the Olympics and we’re all ready to return to camp in October,” he stated.

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