Jhansal, a village in Rajasthan's Hanumangarh district, is flying high after India's win over world champions Australia in the women's hockey tournament at the Tokyo Olympics. Reason: It is home to the gritty Savita 'The Wall' Punia, who kept a clean sheet to help India sail to the semi-final.
Punia's spectacular performance in the match included nine saves – an incredible achievement, considering the pressure in the knockout stages.
Savita was calm and executed her job with utmost perfection. And now, her family and locals of Jhansal here are celebrating her success.
Savita's uncle Omprakash Punia told IANS, "Her father, Mahendra Singh, was born here in this village. Her grandfather, uncles, aunts, cousins also live here."
The last time Savita went to Jhansal was in 2019, when the villagers gifted her a silver hockey stick, said Omprakash, who is also the Jhansal sarpanch.
"It was a grand programme. All the villagers gathered and presented her a silver hockey stick to show their love," he added.
"Her father, who was born and brought up here, moved to Haryana around 25 years ago. However, Savita comes here quite frequently. The entire family is well connected with Savita and she, too, showers love and respect on all," said Omprakash.
Punia thwarted every Australian attack to help India register a 1-0 win and helped the team reach the semi-final of the Tokyo Olympics.
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