Sardar Singh backs Indian hockey team to shine in Tokyo 2021

Former hockey captain Sardar Singh feels India can come out on top in Tokyo 2021 if every member of the team perform to their full potential.

Sardar Singh believes India, which last won an Olympic medal in hockey in Moscow 1980, has a good chance to shine in Tokyo 2021.   -  FILE PHOTO/K. MURALI KUMAR

Former hockey captain Sardar Singh believes India, which last won an Olympic medal in hockey in Moscow 1980, has a good chance to come out on top in Tokyo 2021 if the players perform to their full potential.

"We are No. 4 in the world rankings now and that is a positive sign. We have a proper structure in place and there are good coaches to take care of things. I believe all the players should start training for the big stage from now itself and possess the winning mindset. I am sure they will be working on it. All our 16-17 players should perform at the same level. (P.R.) Sreejesh or Manpreet (Singh) alone can't win matches for you. We need everyone. With that consistency, we will be good enough to reach the semifinals or even the finals," said the 34-year-old in the third episode of Sportstar's Star Talk webinar series, moderated by Uthra Ganesan, special correspondent, The Hindu, on Thursday.

 

"Firstly, whether it is at Tokyo or any other big event, all that our youngsters have to do is what they love the most, which is to play hockey. And that is the primary goal - to play the sport as you know it," added Adrian D'Souza, former goalkeeper of the national team.

Odisha has been at the forefront of the nation's hockey revolution and Vishal K. Dev, commissioner-cum-secretary of the state's Sports and Youth Services, said bagging the elusive medal at the Games will even boost the popularity of the sport.

"Winning a medal will make children want to pick it up. We need a lot more tournaments and exposure for our players. There should be more sub-junior and junior level competitions across the country. Additionally, Hockey India League, which hasn't been organised for the past three years, needs to be revived," he said.

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