India's sports week: Sania Mirza’s reunion as hockey players go home

That sport knows no boundaries was proven again and India’s hockey players could go home after being confined to their camps for three months. Recap the top stories of the week.

By Utathya Nag

There were good tidings in store for Sania Mirza in the week gone by.

The Indian tennis star is all set to reunite with her husband Shoaib Malik after almost five months.

While Sania Mirza, along with son Izhaan Mirza Malik, have been in India during the COVID-19 lockdown, her cricketer husband was in Pakistan, unable to see his family in person due to international travel restrictions.

With the relaxation of the global travel ban, the Pakistan team’s scheduled tour to England starting late June created further complications for the all-rounder’s plans to spend time with his family before undertaking cricketing duties for his country.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), however, allowed Shoaib Malik to join the touring Pakistan team late after meeting up with his wife and son.

‘Homesick’ Indian hockey team homebound

On a similar note, family reunions were in store for most ‘homesick’ members of both the men’s and women’s Indian hockey teams.

Stuck at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Bengaluru since March 25 due to the COVID-19 enforced nation-wide lockdown, all players were finally allowed to leave and go home for a month-long break.

“Even though I was in constant touch over video calls, I was really looking forward to being back home, and all I can say is that it felt so good to be back home – it just gave me goosebumps,” said India men’s team captain Manpreet Singh upon his return to Jalandhar.

Manpreet’s women’s team counterpart Rani Rampal, too, shared similar sentiments.

PR Sreejesh finds solace in motivational books

Being away from home was especially hard for Indian men’s team goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, with constant worries about his ailing father and two young children back at home.

The 32-year-old admitted that he turned to motivational books, including American Olympian Joanna Zeiger’s The Champion Mindset - An Athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness to keep himself mentally strong in these testing times.

“I got involved in reading for peace. I read a lot during the lockdown, from fiction, non-fiction to motivational books. This helped me to think differently. The Champion Mindset is a book that I read again,” he stated.

Olympics social watch from India

PV Sindhu leads LIVE Olympic Day celebrations

PV Sindhu, meanwhile, led the Live Olympic Day celebrations from India with a workout stream on Instagram.

PV Sindhu’s wall art

The Indian badminton star now also has a 40-foot painting of her adorning the walls of Hyderabad’s Sardar Patel Stadium and the Rio 2016 silver medallist was visibly thrilled.

Nikhat Zareen’s ‘underwater’ Ali moment

Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen, on the other hand, is drawing inspiration from her idol Muhammad Ali and shared an image of herself training underwater, emulating a classic Muhammad Ali picture.

Best of the week from the Olympic Channel

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