He advised the team to keep up its confidence.
Former captain Vasudevan Baskaran feels the Indian men’s hockey team cannot afford to be content with only playing in the Olympics if it is to relive the glory days and finish on the podium in Tokyo.
Baskaran, who had led India to its last Olympic gold medal in hockey in the 1980 Moscow edition, advised the team to keep up its confidence.
“The men’s team has been playing really well. My advice to them is to keep the confidence level up. Each player has come up the hard way to reach here,” Baskaran said on a Hockey Indian podcast ‘Hockey Te Charcha.’
“It would perhaps be the first Olympics for about seven-eight players, and I feel they shouldn’t just be happy with the ‘Olympian’ title but they should aim for a medal.
“This is possible only when everybody in the team believes that they can be a medal-winning team and finish on the podium.”
Talking about the Indian women’s team that defeated USA to qualify for the Olympics, Baskaran said the side has earned its place by sheer determination and now must remain focused on finishing in the top four at the Tokyo Games.
“When I was playing 1980 Moscow Olympics, women’s hockey was included. Our Indian team had missed the bronze medal closely.
“After seeing the current Indian women’s hockey team, particularly from 2016 they have developed a lot of confidence.
“I saw them play live in Bhubaneswar when they beat USA, one of the best teams in the world. They rightfully earned the place in the Olympics.” “They are on the up-hill scale. They need to push themselves for the first 4 position. I know Rani and team are capable of doing very well,” he added.
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