We`ll deliver at Olympics: Indian hockey players
Greater Noida: The star Indian hockey trio of Sandeep Singh, Sardar Singh and Shivendra Singh today vowed to deliver a medal-winning performance at the upcoming London Olympics, saying they are determined to do well in the biggest sporting event.
India had won the Olympic qualifying tournament in New Delhi to make the cut for the mega event, having missed the bus for the Beijing Games in 2008.
"Under Michael Nobbs (coach), the team`s performance has gone up. If you have seen the Olympic qualifiers, you must have noticed it. We are playing attacking hockey, the old Indian style. I am sure we will do well in London and win a medal for the country," Sandeep, the star drag-flicker, said.
Sardar, who was the player of the tournament in the qualifiers, said the team is training well and the focus has been on fitness and getting strong in the past few days.
"We are working hard with the Australian coach and the the Australian trainer. In the Bangalore camp the emphasis was on heavy-weight training. The way hockey is being played these days, we need to train that way," Sardar said.
"We did not qualify for Beijing Olympics and we wanted to do it this time. We did it and we`ll do well now. We have about 15-16 matches at our hands before the Olympics. We will go to London, Spain and also play Azlan Shah before the Olympics. We will utilise these chances to improve," he added.
The players will shift to Pune for training from tomorrow since the condition of the turf in Bangalore is not playable, forcing the players to focus only on fitness there.
"Somebody could have got injured. The turf was slippery in Bangalore," Sardar said.
Shivendra exuded confidence in the skill of the Indian players and said they have it in them to win a medal in London.
"We know what out strength is. We know other teams as well. I definitely think, we stand a good chance to win medal in London," the striker said.
The players also insisted that they do not regret missing out on playing in World Series Hockey.
"Our bodies needed rest after the Olympic qualifiers. The coaches suggested that we take off for about 15-20 days. We are more happy to have qualified for Olympics," Sandeep said.
The three players were signed as brand ambassadors by Jaypee Cements.
The players also said the decision to field senior team at Azlan Shah tournament next month instead of a developmental team, was taken by Hockey India and coaches.
"The turf that will be used at London, will be used at Azlan Shah also. So they felt that we will get a good chance to get a feel of the blue turf and the yellow ball at this tournament," Sandeep said.
The drag-flicker also said that the team always awaits and enjoys India-Pakistan clashes.