Barog: Jugraj Singh, India's star hockey player is practicing hard along with his teammates at a training camp in Barog, preparing for the Athens Olympics. Singh, who's India's ace penalty corner specialist has already overcome one battle, a recovery after a horrific car crash in September 2003. Big challenge But now another one lies in store for him aÂ" getting fit in time for the Athens Olympics in August. "See if you are not fit then you cannot play your natural game, you cannot improve because today hockey is a very fast game especially on astro turf. One needs to have a lot of strength, so fitness is very important and that is something I am working on at this camp,' said Jugraj. The presence of Jugraj Singh at the Camp In Barog is in not only in some ways a miracle but just goes to show how determined Jugraj is to play at the highest level once again. Fighting spirit And the fact that he is willing to push himself to the maximum limit while competing with his team-mates shows just how determined he is to play at the Athens Olympics. Jugraj's case is also a challenge for the team's physical trainer. While on one hand he has to push him hard, he also has to make sure that there is no aggravation to his injuries. "I am giving him a special training because we need to gradually bring him back to what he was. Before we take him onto an astro turf we must be able to bring him to a maximum fitness level. If we rush him onto the turf then there are chances of him getting injured again," said Sampath Kumar, trainer of the Indian Hockey team. The new penalty corner rules in hockey mean that Jugraj becomes even more crucial to India's plans at Athens, though his chances of playing at the Olympics are said to be less than 30 per cent.
Topics : Hockey