It has been a rollercoaster ride for the Indian hockey teams, until only recently housed at the sprawling Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus in Bengaluru, over the past few months. Their international tournament schedule fell apart, they were quarantined when the lockdown was imposed, and even suffered a major scare when a cook who worked at SAI tested positive for COVID-19 and passed away.

These distractions severely tested their ability to focus on the major goal — clinching a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. After a long, anxious wait, the Olympics itself was postponed to 2021, only adding to their worries.

The uncertainty started in March, when the coronavirus was just beginning to affect the world. A string of tours and tournaments were cancelled, even as the teams continued to train at SAI. For the women, the tour to China, the Asian Champions Trophy and the tour of…

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