Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Aug.5 : Indian hockey captain P.R. Sreejesh, a self confessed foodie, has been forced to curb his diet to improve his goalkeeping ability.
Known in world hockey circles as "The Wall of India", Sreejesh was put on a strict diet by fitness experts monitoring the Indian national squad after they discovered that the ace goalkeeper was putting on some weight and that could slow his movement.
Sreejesh says he was made to watch his diet and fight the desire generated by the taste-buds. The dieting, the captain acknowledges, has made him fitter and a added some agility to his movements under the bar.
"Earlier, I used to put on some weight, but as I started reducing my weight, I felt more comfortable on the field with my goalkeeper gear," says Sreejesh.
"My flexibility has improved. It has helped me move faster and bring off more saves in the goal," Sreejesh said, "Now, I weigh below 80 kilograms and feel quite comfortable, so I have maintained my weight." "I always love to eat, but coming to this kind of big event, it's all about performing," says the Indian captain.
"Once we finish the Olympics, I can go and have some ice cream," says Sreejesh, under whose captaincy India will start their campaign at the 21st Olympic Games with a preliminary league match against Ireland on Saturday.
"India is known for a lot of sweets. Everywhere you go, you have different types of sweets," says Sreejesh. He added, "I happen to love eating sweets, but I am holding the desire back until the 18th of this month." How would be celebrate the end of a successful Olympic campaign? "I'm sort of starving," Sreejesh says with a wide smile, adding that he would rush to the dining table when the Olympic competition ends.
"There's nothing specific that I'd go and eat. I'll eat all sorts of things, I'll be free to gulp down all drinks that I like," he said..