Eager to alter the shade of the Tokyo bronze, the Indian males’s hockey crew is now focussing on instantly qualifying for the Paris Olympics by profitable subsequent yr’s Asian Games, says younger midfielder Hardik Singh.
With the all-important Asian Games scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China from September 10 to 25 subsequent yr, the crew’s high precedence will probably be to qualify for the Paris Olympics by profitable the gold on the continental match.
“We are eager to begin our quest for gold at the Paris Olympics. We will have to approach step-by-step, and our first step will be to qualify directly for the Olympic Games 2024 by winning Gold at the 2022 Asian Games,” Hardik mentioned in a Hockey India media launch.
“Then in 2023, we have another marquee event- Hockey World Cup, which will be played in Odisha, so there are challenging and exciting times ahead, and we are looking forward to it,” he added.
The 22-year-old, who was one of many key figures within the Indian midfield, scored two essential objectives in his debut Olympic Games in Tokyo.
When requested concerning the motive behind India’s success on the Tokyo Olympics, Hardik mentioned, “We are a tight-knit team, and I think that was our biggest strength at the Olympics. We have formed a special bond, and we were able to master the best out of each other skills.
“After the disappointing result against Australia, we sat together and openly spoke to each other about what went wrong and what we needed to do in the upcoming matches to put up a much better performance. That really helped us a lot to bounce back and eventually win the medal for the country.”
He scored a memorable discipline objective within the quarterfinal match in opposition to England, which helped the crew enter the medal rounds on the Olympics after greater than 4 a long time.
While recalling the enduring objective, the younger gun mentioned, “It was a team goal, our defence line stuck together to hold the 2-1 lead at a very crucial phase of the game as we were down to 10 men.
“Harmanpreet tackled the ball really well, he then passed it to me, and I had open space to penetrate into the striking circle, although my shot bounced off the goalkeeper’s pad, luckily I received the rebound, and found the back of the net.
“Nilakanta also played a crucial role here as he blind spotted the goalkeeper, which helped me find the gap during that rebound,” he added.