Rio Olympics 2016: Stupid to talk about hockey team's medal hopes, says Viren Rasquinha

India's strong defensive performance in that match raised medal hopes of fans at the upcoming Olympics.

Last Updated: Jul 26, 2016, 19:26 PM IST
Rio Olympics 2016: Stupid to talk about hockey team's medal hopes, says Viren Rasquinha

New Delhi: The decision of Hockey India to change the captain of the men's team for the Rio Olympics has been widely debated and dissected.

Sardar Singh was replaced by goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, as the men's and women's squads were announced by HI in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah and sports minister Vijay Goel.

The Punjab playmaker, facing heat due to allegations of sexual harassment, in a bid to help him focus on his game.

Sardar also did not feature in the Indian team that made it to the final of the Champions Trophy in London.

Despite his absence, the men in blue put up a commendable show against the mighty Aussies in the final.

India's strong defensive performance in that match raised medal hopes of fans at the upcoming Olympics.

Former India skipper, Viren Rasquinha, however believes that it would be stupid to think of a medal based on that one performance.

"I don’t think there is a realistic chance of winning a medal. For me, being realistic, the first goal should be to get into the quarter-finals and then take it one match at a time from there. I think it is very stupid to talk about a medal. The Olympics is a very long tournament. On the basis of one match we played well against Australia [in the final of the Champions Trophy] – it was an outstanding performance; there is no doubt it was the best performance in 10 years against Australia; the best performance in 10 years in a tournament in terms of consistency – but that doesn’t make them realistic medal contenders," he told Scroll.

Rasquinha also backed HI's decision to replace Sardar with Sreejesh, stating the Kerala lad was someone who that the capability to bring the team together.

"Sreejesh is a great character. I think he is someone who can really bring the team together. He himself is a very confident individual and is playing well, so I think he ticks all the boxes. I have no doubt Sreejesh will make a great captain. He is well-liked and respected by everyone," he further added.