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“This was my best performance so far," says drag-flick queen Gurjit Kaur

“This was my best performance so far, says drag-flick queen Gurjit Kaur

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Published: 6 July 2019 5:56 AM GMT
It was perhaps Gurjit Kaur's most precious memory in the last five-year career. She was the top scorer in the recently concluded FIH series finals, striking 11 out of the 29 goals scored by Indian women's hockey team in the tournament. In a telephonic interview with The Bridge from her residence in Miadi Kalan village near Amritsar in Punjab, Gurjit said,
“This was my best performance so far. I dedicate this success to my teammates, all the coaches who have given tireless efforts in improving my game and my parents.”
Gurjit started playing hockey in her school when she was studying at the 6th standard. It was under the tutelage of Sharanjit Singh, she started her lesson in hockey. Showing gradual improvement, Gurjit was promoted to the Ranjit Singh Academy in Jalandhar. However, like other girls fom villages, Gurjit had to face stiff challenges from society. “Instead of staying at home and getting prepared for the ultimate fate that is marriage I was being inspired for learning hockey. Naturally, my family had to face social obstacles during that phase.” Gurjit remembers. Every day, her father Satnam Singh, took her to the school 13 kilometres away from their house and waited throughout the day after her practice ended.
Gurjit Kaur in action Gurjit is the only drag-flicker in Indian women’s team. She recalled saying, “Since the beginning of my career in Jalandhar Academy, I loved to hit lifting the ball. So having noticed it, Ranjit Singh, the chief coach at Jalandhar Academy, began to encourage me in drag-flicking."
"I used to play as a centre-half and a forward at that time. Then, when I was called up in the senior national camp for the first time in 2014, my position gradually changed, and I turned into a defender.”
Gurjit attributes a lot to the Dutch drag-flicking specialist, Toon Siepman, for her improvement in drag-flicking. She added, “We were in the Netherlands in 2017 for training. I had intensive training sessions with Mr Toon, who rectified my drag-flicking and gave a new dimension. My front foot position, leaning on the ball while pushing the ball, my peripheral vision, everything changed and took a new shape. I still watch those training videos after the training sessions nowadays.” Gurjit will join the national camp on 15th July. The Indian team is scheduled to take part in Olympics Test Event, and the 24-year-old is again setting her aim to become the top scorer in the championship.
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