Hockey

We are disappointed, says Sreejesh

ON DEFENCE MODE: The Indian coach Roelant Oltmans (left) and captain P.R. Sreejesh feel that the results don’t accurately display the performance of the team at the Olympics.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

The Indian hockey teams may not have achieved results up to expectations but their performances at the Rio Olympics were not as disheartening as an eighth-place finish may indicate.

The women were always expected to struggle in their first ever Olympics while the men ran some of the top sides close before succumbing to pressure.

The teams returned in the early hours of Thursday and dispersed for their homes for a long overdue break. Men’s captain P.R. Sreejesh, one of the key performers, admitted there was a lot of disappointment.

“It took a long time to get out of the disappointment and humiliation of 2012."

“We are more disappointed vis-a-vis the kind of efforts we had put in because, despite being short on experience, we ran some of the teams real close."

"We had put in a lot of effort in the past few years to not only get out of that but also improve our game, our team."

“Against teams like Germany and Holland, for example, we upped our game to match them,” he said.

“We were the youngest team in terms of average age and the difference showed,” he said, admitting that it was frustrating at times to keep saving opposition attacks without the team scoring any. Chief coach Roelant Oltmans was satisfied with the team on field — barring the draw against Canada in the last league match — but admitted it was a learning experience for everyone. “Looking back we can see that in every game we pushed our opponents hard. Sometimes the results don’t accurately reflect the performance,” Oltmans said.

Women’s captain Sushila Chanu said though they couldn’t win a game, they were not overawed by the occasion.

The women finished last but climbed one rung in rankings because of their appearance at Rio. “It was always a dream for us to represent India at the Olympics. Ours is a young team and we have already made a small mark on the world stage. Now we have to try and make it more visible,” she said.


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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 4:51:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/We-are-disappointed-says-Sreejesh/article14589141.ece

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