The Indian Lawn Bowls women's team, who defied the odds to win gold at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham have spoken out in open about the difficulties they endured in the run up to the quadrennial extragavaganza.
It Birmingham 2022, it may be recalled that the women's fours team comprising Rupa Rani Tirkey, Pinki, Nayanmoni Saikia and Lovely Choubey clinched the yellow metal in a sport they were least expected to shine.
But it is all not that hunky-dory as evident from the way an emotional Rupa spoke and broke down in the Table Talk with Jo programme where the athlete spoke about the trials and tribulations they had to go through.
"We were very depressed. A lot of discussions happened about us. It was very demotivating," Rupa said in the video, where she literally broke down to tears.
"There was a lot of pressure on us. If we didn't return with a medal from the Games, then maybe there would've been no future of lawn bowls for us in the next edition," she continued.
Rupa's team-mate Lovely shared her sentiments and narrated further the ordeal they had to suffer en route to beating South Africa in the gold-medal match.
"We were even told that we've been selected to the team because of how we looked," Lovely added.
"We had something in us that's why we won a medal, no? Nobody will give us a medal by simply looking at our face," Lovely said.
For the records, the Indian quartet beat South Africa 17-10 in the gold medal match.
From the start, the India kept themselves ahead of the South Africa team, one of the pedigreed outfits in the Commonwealth Games, with consistent rolls.
There were pockets of defence from the South African ladies, but India kept their nerves in crucial junctures to keep their tryst with the gold to bring much cheer to the country.
But these admissions from the women's team should force the authorities to do a reality check.