Hockey: Cannot explain how beautiful it was when they won bronze, says Gurjant Singh’s wife Karman Kaur

New Delhi: In less than a month, after the Indian men’s hockey team shore up their preparations for the Paris Olympics in Switzerland and the Netherlands, the 29-year-old Gurjant Singh will step onto the pitch at Yves-du-Manior not only as an Olympic bronze medallist but also as a newlywed, whose family is also looking forward to him returning with another medal, just like the all fans.

In our latest episode of ‘Hockey Te Charcha, Familia’ –- a unique series launched by Hockey India ahead of the Olympic Games – tennis player Karman Kaur Thandi talked about the early stages of her relationship with Gurjant Singh, his demeanours off the pitch, and her expectations from her husband and the Indian men’s hockey team at the Paris Olympics.

Karman is only the sixth Indian to have cracked the top 200 of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Rankings and continues to strive in the sport. Highlighting Gurjant’s support in her recent career, Karman said, “He is a huge part of my support system because he’s a very mature player. And it comes in handy when I need pep talks when I’m spiralling into negativity. So, he’s the one who picks me up.”

Since making his debut against Belgium in 2017 Gurjant has scored 31 goals in 109 appearances. Karman chalked it down to his calm personality on and off the pitch saying, “On the field, he’s so aware of the situation and very patient. He’s constantly thinking about what needs to be done, to be at the right place at the right time. So even in life outside of hockey, he is a very patient person. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, he’s going to stay calm. And that’s one thing I really love about him.”

Gurjant Singh has been prominent in India’s forward line in some of the biggest victories, including the Junior World Cup in 2016, Asia Cup in 2017, Asian Champions Trophy titles in 2018 and 2023, Asian Games Gold in 2023, and the historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

“When I was speaking with him before Tokyo, he said the team had bonded so well together. This was the best thing that could have happened. Once they went to Tokyo and won the laurels, it was all worth it. The video call from him came later, and it was a teary-eyed conversation. It was so emotional since they had worked so hard and put in so much effort,” she said

“It’s something I really cannot explain right now, how beautiful that moment was. It was really, really special, and what came after was just as special. After the Tokyo Olympics, he came back and asked for my hand in marriage at home,” Karman revealed.

As the whole nation expects the Indian men’s hockey team to change the colour of the medal this time around, Karman expressed her hope, saying, “As an athlete, I understand very well that there are going to be high expectations, but the kind of work the staff, coaches, and the team have put in over the last year or so has been commendable. That is something that will never go to waste. Obviously, we’re very positive about the outcome. So, I wish and hope for the best for the hockey team for the Paris Olympics.”

–IANS

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