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Punjab’s Jarmanpreet Singh sets eyes on performing well in the Senior Nationals

Objective: Jarmanpreet says the Indian team’s ultimate aim is to bag the gold in the Paris Olympics.

A tough and resilient defender on the field, Jarmanpreet Singh appears a calm and friendly person off it.

As someone who has competed in quite a few National championships, the 27-year-old from Punjab knows the value of the premier event more than anyone else.

“It was due to the Nationals that I got back into the National side in 2018 and got a job. It is a huge tournament for everyone, more so for youngsters to show their potential,” Jarmanpreet, who has played in 85 Internationals, told The Hindu after his training session here on Friday.

Of all the teams in the Senior Nationals here, Punjab looks most formidable with five players —Harmanpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet, Shamsher Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, and goalkeeper Krishan Pathak having played in the Hangzhou Asian Games.

No place for complacency

But the Indian defender is not willing to take things for granted. “There are lots of international players in other teams as well. We would like to play our game. We are in good mental shape and want to take one match at a time,” said Jarmanpreet, who was part of the Indian side that won gold in the Asian Champions Trophy and Hangzhou Asian Games earlier this year.

According to Jarmanpreet, it is a great experience to play under India captain Harmanpreet (he is expected to join the team on Sunday. “The [Punjab] team environment is positive and captain Harmanpreet is an inspiration. With the new artificial turf, we are all looking forward to the Nationals,” he said.

Jarmanpreet said that the Indian team’s aim is to clinch the gold or finish on the podium at the 2024 Paris Olympics. “We are physically and mentally in good shape to do it. We have quite a few tournaments before that: a 5-nation tournament in Spain, FIH Pro League and a few Test matches,” he added.

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