S.V. Sunil and V.R. Raghunath, who were part of the Asian Champions Trophy winning Indian hockey team, are of the opinion that Indian team has the capacity to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012. They were felicitated by the Kodagu district administration, zilla panchayat and the Department of Youth Services and Sports in Madikeri on Friday.

Both players hail from Kodagu.

Sunil said that the financial assistance being given by the Union and State governments encouraged players to perform well in future. Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, who announced Rs. 5 lakh each to players hailing from Karnataka, should be complimented, he said.

Raghunath said that support of the people played a key role in the success of the Indian team at Ordos in China, the venue of the championship. It had helped the team give its best shot. He was all praise for coach Michael Nobbs, who had taken steps to correct the mistakes and put the players in the right groove.

He expressed confidence that the Indian team was sure to make a mark in world hockey soon. Raghunath said that comparing hockey to cricket in India was not correct. The BCCI was a strong body aiding the progress of the game. Hockey players were confident that the government would do its best to the game of hockey in India, he added.

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly K.G. Bopaiah felicitated them along with president of the zilla panchayat Ravi Kushalappa, vice-president H.M. Cauvery, ZP members Kanti Belliappa, S.N. Raja Rao, Usha Devaiah, Mani Nanjappa, Deputy Commissioner N.V. Prasad, Superintendent of Police Manjunath Annigeri, and Chief Executive Officer of the ZP N. Krishnappa.

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