New Delhi,[India]: The Indian hockey teams arrived back in the country after a strong and historic performance at the Olympic Games in the Brazilian city of Rio.
The women’s team were making their first appearance at the Games since 1980 and went into the Olympics, the lowest ranked of all the teams. They held Japan in a draw in the opening fixture to take their first points of the tournament.
The men’s team also created history by qualifying for the quarter finals. The Indian team were the only team to beat the eventual gold medallists Argentina and also defeated Ireland in the group stage and drew with Canada, besides going down by very slim margins to Germany and Netherlands. In the quarter finals they went down to silver medallists Belgium.
Speaking after arriving back in the country, Indian men’s team captain, PR Sreejesh said, “For all of us the Olympic has been a great eye opener and a huge life experience. The people of Rio were unbelievably hospitable to us and it was a brilliant setting for the Games. As professionals we always dream of representing our country at the highest level and the Olympics is the highest. I’m proud of the team for the way we played. Barring some small moments, our performance was very good. Now we have to focus on correcting all the things we got wrong and believe in ourselves for the future.”
Roelant Oltmans, the chief coach of Indian men’s team, added, “The results were satisfactory if not ideal according to our preparations. But, looking back we can see that in every game we pushed our opponents to the very end. This is a team of high quality. Sometimes the results don’t accurately display the performance. In this case, I think the team would have learnt a lot. So have we as coaching staff. The team deserves a short break, and then, very soon, it will be back to the grind.”
Indian women team captain Sushila Chanu said, “It was always a dream for us to represent India at the Olympics. There was a fear of getting overawed by the occasion, but we didn’t and I am proud of the team for that. Ours is a young team and we have already made a small mark in the world stage. Now we have to try and get better and make that mark more and more visible.” (ANI)