Balbir Singh Sr, Pargat Singh congratulate women hockey team

Indian hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr and another former captain Pargat Singh on Saturday congratulated women's team, who will return to the Olympics after a long gap of 36 years, during next year's Rio Games.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 29, 2015, 20:51 PM IST
Balbir Singh Sr, Pargat Singh congratulate women hockey team

Chandigarh: Indian hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr and another former captain Pargat Singh on Saturday congratulated women's team, who will return to the Olympics after a long gap of 36 years, during next year's Rio Games.

"It is great news that our women hockey team has directly qualified for Rio Olympics. My heartiest congratulations to the entire squad. My message for the young players is simple and straight forward- Live your dream! work hard, prepare well and believe in yourself. Aim for nothing less than gold," the 91-year-old triple Olympic gold medallist told PTI.

Balbir Sr said that his best wishes are that both our teams boys and girls, bring home double Olympic Gold "and give me a chance to celebrate your victory with all of India".

"At 91, it will be my dream come true during my life time," said Balbir Sr, who in 2012 London Olympics, was honoured as being the only Indian amongst 16 chosen Olympic legends across of modern Olympic history.

His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men's hockey final of Olympics, still remains unbeaten. Balbir Sr scored five goals in India's 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal game of the 1952 Games.

Commenting on women team qualifying for Olympics, Pargat Singh said,"I am delighted that after such long time, the girls have qualified. I congratulate the team and I am sure it will serve as morale booster for our women's hockey."

The hockey player-turned politician further said that qualifying for the sporting event will motivate the team to do even better in future.

"Definitely, it will motivate the whole team. The development also augurs well for Indian hockey in general including the men's hockey. As far as the women's team is concerned, it will help them overcome the mental block that they were are not qualifying earlier. Now, they can set their sight for the medal," Pargat Singh said.

Indian women's hockey team last featured in an Olympics in the 1980 Moscow Games, where they finished at a respectable fourth position.