Padmashri V. Baskaran was the captain when India final gained a gold medal in hockey on the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. A extremely expert left-half in his enjoying days, Baskaran was energetic in Chennai, teaching kids and managing hockey tournaments earlier than Covid struck. A embellished coach and an Arjuna Award winner, Baskaran, who was chief coach of the lads’s crew at Sydney Olympics and retired as a senior sports activities official with the Indian Railways, spoke to IANS on the Indian crew’s prospects within the Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian hockey crew is enjoying in Tokyo Olympics, as captain of the crew that gained on the Moscow Olympics and a educated coach, how good are the probabilities of our crew hanging huge in Tokyo?
V Baskaran: We should be on the rostrum as among the many 11 different nations that are enjoying within the Olympics, we’re effectively ready even with Covid-19 pandemic scenario. The gamers are extremely motivated and stayed put at Bangalore for 9 months earlier than the Olympics and that was (attributable to) sheer willpower and grit. Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India have prolonged all assist and assist for the well-being of gamers and their consolation through the coaching interval.
What are your options and recommendation to the Indian crew?
V Baskaran: The crew ought to go match by match and the primary goal should be reaching the quarter-finals. From the quarter-final onwards, issues might be totally different as knockout begins from right here. Our major power is penalty nook conversion as we now have three specialists on this space – Harmanpreet, Rupinderpal, and Amit Rohidas. PR Sreejesh is a extremely proficient goalkeeper with ample expertise and expertise as he’s enjoying his third Olympics. Players ought to follow the (match) plan. Team India is a mix of youth and expertise and therefore I really feel they’ll end on the rostrum.
What in keeping with you need to change for India to be the world chief in hockey once more?
V Baskaran: We must construction our hockey occasions just like the Club soccer tournaments in Europe. All the massive golf equipment in Europe have Under 14, Under 16, and Under 18 tournaments, and from these tournaments, proficient and expert gamers, with a number of capability for onerous work emerge on the senior degree. We should be professionals in growing our sports activities. Amateurism and half-baked data are harmful for sports activities, together with hockey.
Do you will have any options to create curiosity amongst youngsters in hockey and different sports activities?
V Baskaran: A radical change is required on the college degree to determine and nurture proficient sportspersons. Sports should not be an extracurricular exercise, as a substitute, it should be made obligatory and every youngster should compulsorily play and take part in two sports activities in his college days. Even the dad and mom should be educated relating to the significance of sports activities for kids. Sports should be given equal significance and prominence as schooling and if we persist on this, then like China, Japan, and Australia good gamers will emerge from faculties, who might be nurtured and groomed into world-class gamers.
IANS: Please share your recollections of the Olympics as a participant and a coach?
V Baskaran: I loved my enjoying profession in addition to being a hockey coach. Olympics has given me a number of fond recollections. I met Ken Nortan, Mohammed Ali, Sebastian Coe, Roger Federer, John McEnroe, and Usain Bolt on the Olympics throughout my days as participant and coach. I had additionally the chance to work together with our greats like Milkha Singh, Balbir Singh (Sr), Dhyan Chand, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Abhinav Bindra, Karnam Malleswari, P.T. Usha, and Shiny Wilson.
IANS: What was the best level in your sports activities profession?
V Baskaran: Winning the Olympic hockey gold for India in Moscow was the most important second of my profession. I anticipate Indian dad and mom to be extra supportive of sports activities and to inculcate a sporting tradition of their youngsters.
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