Sports Buzz: Every player believes India can finish in top 3 in Hockey at Olympics, says Sumit
Indian Men's Hockey team's Sumit said 'every player in the core group' believes that the team can finish in the top three positions at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Bengaluru: Indian Men's Hockey team's Sumit said 'every player in the core group' believes that the team can finish in the top three positions at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"I remember when we won the Sultan of Johor Cup in 2014 and steadily kept improving performance in the lead up to the FIH Men's Junior World Cup in 2016, the team had started believing that we can win the Gold," Hockey India's official website quoted Sumit as saying.
"That self-belief and attitude is what eventually helped us win the title. We felt that same belief after performing well against the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia. Every single player in the core group believes we can finish top three in the Olympics," he added. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the Olympics will take place from July 23 to August 8 next year while the Paralympics Games will be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
Sumit said Olympic is the 'ultimate dream' and postponement has not changed their belief to finish in the top three.
"Olympics is the ultimate dream and the postponement has not changed our belief of a top-3 finish. We get more time under Chief Coach Graham and personally he has instilled a lot of confidence in me. He encourages me by saying I am versatile and can play in any position and emphasises I need to focus more on attacking hockey and positioning inside circle. We youngsters have another year to prove worthy to make the team for Olympics," Sumit said.
The midfielder said the team was in an 'excellent rhythm' before the deadly virus disrupted their training. "We were in excellent rhythm when training was suspended due to lockdown. But the team feels we are better off in SAI Centre, Bengaluru where we still get to come out of our rooms and use the running track and do core exercises. I can't imagine being stuck at home back in Haryana with no option for any basic fitness training," he said.
Sumit also admitted that getting back to rhythm will take some time. "This is probably the first time that we have not trained hockey in so long. Getting back to that fine rhythm will take some time but since we are focused on maintaining fitness, we are in a better position than many of our opponents. From here on, in the lead up to the Olympics next year it's important to stay fit and stay injury-free," Sumit said. (ANI)