Shivendra regains rhythm

Shivendra regains rhythm

Forward keen to push on after good show in Champions Challenge

But the talented centre-forward made a speedier than expected recovery and vindicated his selection for the Champions Challenge tournament with a wonderful performance.

The 28-year-old also capped the event, where India finished runners-up to Belgium, with a scintillating solo goal in the final. Dribbling down the right flank, Shivendra left three defenders for dead with his sudden acceleration and beautiful stick work and flummoxed goalkeeper David van Rysselberghe with a brilliant hit from near zero angle before celebrating with his customary salute.

“It feels really nice to be playing a match,” Shivendra told reporters after a practice session at the KSHA stadium here on Thursday. “I’m beginning to feel normal and my body is slowly opening up. When I was selected for the Champions Challenge tournament, I was just 60 percent fit. I am yet to attain full fitness but I am getting there. “The Champions Challenge was a great confidence-booster for me. When I took the field for the first time, I was very nervous as I was playing a match after a long time. I just to wanted play safe and well within myself. As the tournament progressed, I started to regain my confidence and rhythm. I am looking forward for the Olympic qualifiers now.”

Asked if he still undergoes a special fitness programme, Shivendra said he does an extra round of weight training but follows the same fitness routine as his team-mates. “After the injury, I had to do a lot of weight training to regain strength. I was also put on a different programme. Now, I do what others in the team do with just an extra session of weight training.”

Meanwhile, around 20-25 national campers will visit the Spastics Society of India on Friday where they will hand out t-shirts to the kids. “This is part of our goodwill gesture,” said coach Michael Nobbs. “Also, I want the boys to realise how privileged they are and understand that they too can contribute to the society in some way.”

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