Sharmila Devi missing the adrenaline rush of playing hockey

The 18-year-old India striker looks back on her past one year with the senior national team.

Sharmila Devi made her India debut in August, 2019, at the Tokyo Olympics Test event. - HOCKEY INDIA

India striker Sharmila Devi has said the experience of not playing hockey for a long time was new for her, and that she had been maintaining her fitness during the break.

“It has been a really different experience to not have felt that adrenaline rush of playing the sport, but I’m just making sure I'm maintaining my fitness and am ready to play as soon as we are allowed,” the 18-year-old, who is currently in Hisar with her family, told Hockey India.

Sharmila said she was fortunate to be guided by head coach Sjoerd Marijne, and the experienced players in Rani Rampal and Vandana Katariya in the Indian team. “I am hoping that we will be able to play hockey again soon, and I am really looking forward to making a difference for my team once that happens and we start playing the top teams,” she said.

‘Experience of a lifetime’

Sharmila made her international debut at the Olympic Test event in Tokyo and it’s been an eventful period for her since. “Life has really been going on at a very fast pace for me in the past one year, but I couldn't have asked for more. Having made my debut at the Olympic Test event in Tokyo back in August 2019, it was an experience of a lifetime for me because we won the tournament there,” she said.

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The FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2019 against USA was her favourite moment with the Indian team so far. “It was definitely a huge moment for me, to have represented the country at such a huge tournament. We were looking to secure our berth in the Tokyo Olympics and were playing against such a strong opposition, so it felt really good to have done well, and helped the team in achieving our goal. I’m looking forward to more such victories and enjoyable moments with the team,” she said.

Sharmila has so far made nine appearances for the senior team.

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