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The great wall: Meet Savita Punia, goalkeeper, Indian women's hockey team

In Punia, Vaibhav Raghunandan encounters a quiet strength that was unmissable in Tokyo

Topics
Hockey | Indian Hockey Team | 2020 Tokyo olympics

Vaibhav Raghunandan 



Savita Punia
Savita Punia | Illustration: Binay Sinha

In her initial days at the national camp for the women’s team, Savita Punia would never speak up. She’d merge into a group when forced to exchange pleasantries, just nod her head through training and put in blistering performances in high-pressure matches without uttering a word. M K Kaushik noticed this. And so, the coach and visionary, who subtly transformed much of Indian into what it is today, told the “Great Wall of India” to take time off and, erm, talk to a wall till she could find the confidence to open up.

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First Published: Fri, September 17 2021. 23:27 IST

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