A village in Rajasthan's Hanumangarh district, where Indian women's hockey team goalkeeper Savita Punia's family resides, is on cloud 9 after the team defeated world champion Australia to enter the semi-finals in Tokyo.
Goalkeeper Savita Punia made a spectacular performance in the match and is being called 'The Wall' as she saved all the nine shots that were hit at her, which makes it an incredible achievement considering the pressure of knockout stages.
Savita remained calm and did her job with utmost perfection and that's the reason that her family and villagers here are celebrating her success. Her entire family stays in the Jhansal village of Bhadra Tehsil area of Hanumangarh district.
Savita's uncle Omprakash Punia says, "Her father, Mahendra Singh, in fact, was born here in this village. Her grandfather, uncles, aunts, cousins, everyone stays here," he told IANS
Last time Savita came here in 2019 when the villagers gifted her a silver hockey, said Omprakash who is the Jhansal Sarpanch and Savita's uncle. "It was a grand programme where all villagers gathered and presented her a silver hockey to show their love and warmth towards her," he added.
Her father, who was born and brought up here, shifted to Haryana around 25 years ago. However, Savita has been coming here quite frequently. The entire family is well connected with Savita and she too gives equal love and respect to all, said Omprakash.
Punia thwarted every Australian attack to help India register a 1-0 win and helped the team reach the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics.