Volleyball: Optimistic on India’s chances

The women’s team has a good chance of progressing, while the men stand a chance of winning a medal, says G.E. Sridharan, who was a member of the 1986 bronze medal-winning team.

Gurinder Singh's (R) team stands a good chance of winning a medal.   -  THE HINDU

India last won a medal at the Asian Games 32 years ago – a bronze for the men’s team in 1986 at Seoul. In 2014, there was hope when the men’s team defeated a formidable Japanese side in Incheon, before it surrendered to Thailand in the quarterfinals. India finished an agonizing fifth.

The women’s team has never been a force in Asian volleyball, participating in the Games only three. In the last two editions, the team finished eighth and ninth, respectively.

Meanwhile, infighting in the Volleyball Federation of India has prevented the national squads from taking part in international competitions for the last two years.

In Indonesia, the men’s team has been grouped with Qatar, the Maldives and Hong Kong, while the women’s side has been placed alongside South Korea, China, Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan and Vietnam.

G.E. Sridharan, who was a member of the 1986 bronze medal-winning team and has coached the national team on numerous occasions, is optimistic of India’s chances. Tasked with coaching the women’s team in Jakarta, Sridharan said the side has a good chance to make it to the next stage. “It is a tough group. We have to go all out against teams like Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan and Vietnam and hope to progress,” he said.

The men’s team, he said, stands a good chance of winning a medal. “It depends on the day’s performance. All said and done, we have to work on the ground and make things happen.”

 

Teams:

Men: Gurinder Singh, Skhin G, Ashok Kartik, Deepesh Kumar Sinha, Sinnadhu Prabagaran, Amit, Ajithlal Chandran, Rohit Kumar, Charles Jerome Vinith, OUkkrapandian Mohan, Prabakaran Pattani and Pankaj Sharma

Women: Anju Balakrishnan, Soorya S, Anusri Ghosh, Aswani Kandoth, Nirmala, Rekha Sreesailam, Anusree K.P, Sruthi Murali, Minimol Abraham, Anjali Babu, Jini Kovat Shaji, Ruksana Khatun, Priyanka Khedkar and Aswathi Raveendran.