Buoyed by the Asian Games hockey gold medal, Pakistan are now eyeing a podium finish at the 2012 London Olympics.
The three-time Olympic champions have failed to win the gold since their memorable triumph in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Their last medal was the bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games and they finished fourth in 2000 Sydney after losing 3-6 to Australia in the play-off for the third place.
In London, it would need a great effort from the Greenshirts to finish on the podium as they are way behind powerhouses like Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.
But the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) hopes that the Asian Games gold will boost the team’s confidence.
“Pakistan hockey has been struggling for almost twenty years but we believe that it’s time for things to change,” said Asif Bajwa, PHF secretary.
“We have put ourselves on the road to revival by winning the Asian Games title and are now setting our sights on doing well in the 2012 Olympics and the World Cup to be played in 2014,” added Bajwa.
Bajwa said PHF has lined up 40-50 international matches against top teams in the run up to the Olympics. It includes a tour of Egypt, a hectic sojourn of Europe, the Champions Trophy and a trip to Australia followed by a lengthy tour of England in early 2012.
“We’ll start our preparations with the trip to Egypt,” said Bajwa. “It will be followed by hectic assignments both at home and abroad which we believe will help us in raising a balanced team for the Olympics,” he added.
Keywords: 2012 London Olympics