Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 6
For goalie Savita Punia’s father Mahender Punia, the biggest challenge after the team’s defeat was to console his daughter.
Mahender, a pharmacist at a Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Sirsa, had called Savita after watching her breaking down on the field, but she couldn’t respond then and called him back later. “Beta, why are you crying? You played exceedingly well. The entire country is proud of you and your teammates,” Mahender told his daughter.
Like thousands of fans across the country, it was heartbreaking for Savita’s family to see her breaking down as the game ended.
Later, Mahender told The Tribune that Savita, who earned the sobriquet of “The Great Wall” after the team’s quarterfinal win, held herself solely responsible for the team’s defeat today.
“I told her that she played well and saved many goals. At the end of the day, one team has to lose. It was not our day. But the team’s performance during the entire Olympics has been laudable,” he added.
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