New Delhi, July 20
Proud to be a part of a technology that witnessed Indian hockey’s resurgence, former captain Sardar Singh says his sole remorse in an in any other case illustrious profession just isn’t profitable an Olympics medal for his nation.
However, he feels the present crew below Manpreet Singh has the potential to interrupt the four-decade-old jinx in Tokyo subsequent yr.
“My journey in hockey has been somewhat satisfying as a result of I used to be a part of that period which noticed a resurgence. We got here a good distance from ending final on the London Olympics in 2012 to being ranked No.6 on the earth after I hung up my boots in 2018,” mentioned Sardar.
“Now, the current team is poised at no. 4 which should definitely bring a lot of confidence to this team in the lead up to their Tokyo Olympics campaign,” he mentioned.
The Indian crew has a wealthy Olympics historical past, profitable an unprecedented eight gold medals, apart from a silver and two bronze.
India’s final success on the quadrennial sporting extravaganza, although, got here 40 years in the past within the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the place they gained the final of their eight gold medals.
“Having performed 314 worldwide matches, I’ll all the time remorse not having the ability to add an Olympics medal on the wall again dwelling,” Sardar mentioned in a Hockey India launch.
“But watching this team grow from strength to strength in the past year and the way they played the FIH Hockey Pro League earlier this year, I have great hope that they can bag that elusive Olympic medal,” he added.
“They definitely have a realistic chance in Tokyo.”
With the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games being postponed by a yr due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sardar feels the Indian crew will get a while to work on its gray areas and unearth new expertise.
“They have the time to construct on the brand new expertise that’s obtainable. Some of the kids, like Rajkumar, Dilpreet, Vivek Sagar, Gursahib have proven nice promise and attempting them in big-match eventualities just like the Pro League was determination by chief coach Graham Reid,” pointed Sardar.
“With the Olympics being postponed, we have the time to work on our short-comings. Converting chances continues to be one of the grey areas but I feel we have been finishing much better than we were two or three years ago.”
Sardar suggested the Indian gamers to not lose their focus amid the present international well being disaster, which has halted sporting actions the world over.
“For now, I understand these are trying times for all sports persons in India with the COVID-19 pandemic posing several challenges to the Olympic preparations but my advice to the Indian hockey core probables, men and women, is to remain focused on their goal,” mentioned the 34-year-old from Sirsa in Haryana.
“Playing in the Olympics for India should be the single most motivating factor for each and every athlete and they must channelise their efforts to be the best they can be ahead of the Tokyo Games.” On a private be aware, Sardar handpicked the 2014 Asian Games gold, the place they beat arch-rivals Pakistan to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, because the stand-out second of his 12-year profession.
“Looking again at my profession that spanned over a decade, there have been some very memorable matches. Leading the Indian crew to the 2014 Asian Games gold, the primary in 16 years, will all the time be on prime of that checklist not simply because it was historic…beating Pakistan in a last is all the time an icing on the cake,” he mentioned.
“This win set off a new beginning for the Indian men’s hockey team. In 2014, we were on the cusp of greater things to come and there was no looking back,” he added. PTI