After failing to win a medal at the Rio Olympics, Indian men’s and women’s hockey team returned to the country in the wee hours of Thursday. Men’s team captain PR Sreejesh admitted that there was a lot of disappointment, while coach Roelant Oltmans said that the results were satisfactory.
Indian men’s hockey had travelled to Rio hoping to secure their first medal since 1980 Olympics, but they failed in their task after losing to Belgium in the quarter-final. The team finally finished 8th in the overall rankings because of their 4th place finish in the group stage. After arriving in the country yesterday, men’s hockey team captain PR Sreejesh admitted that there was a lot of disappointment in the team after failing to win a medal at Rio.
“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."
"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,” said Sreejesh, reported the Hindu.
“We were the youngest team in terms of average age and the difference showed,” he added, admitting that it was frustrating at times to keep saving opposition attacks without the team scoring any.
However, coach Roelant Oltmans described the result of the team as satisfactory.
The results were satisfactory if not ideal according to our preparations."
"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 till the very end," Oltmans said after returning to India in New Delhi on Thursday, reported PTI.
"This is a team of high quality. Sometimes the results don't accurately display the performance. In this case, I think the team has learnt a lot. It deserves a short break, and then, very soon, it will be back to the grind," he added.
On the other hand, the women’s hockey team, who played in the Olympics after a gap of 36 years, failed to win a game and managed just one point in the group stage. Speaking about the experience in Rio skipper Sushila Chanu said, “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.”