Former Indian hockey participant Dhanraj Pillay is optimistic that the Manpreet Singh-led squad will have the ability to break the 41-year jinx on the Olympics.
“I’m very assured they’ll do it this time. They have been doing nicely within the final 5 years. Fitness is their largest asset. In these days, we didn’t have the sort of assist system they’ve now. This staff has accomplished wonders, gained hearts of thousands and thousands of followers with their latest performances significantly the Champions Trophy (in 2016 and 2018) and the World League Finals (2015 and 2017) outcomes. I do know they will do it this time,” mentioned Pillay, who was a part of 4 successive Olympic Games.
Pillay has despatched a personalised letter to Manpreet and girls’s staff skipper Rani, wishing each groups good luck.
“Since I’m additionally in Bangalore, I might have cherished to fulfill them in particular person however as a result of protocols, I didn’t. I despatched them a letter wishing them the easiest and I needed to convey to them that they need to watch out about their weight loss plan when they’re within the Olympic village. I needed to convey to them that they need to take pleasure in the very best a part of their athletic life by being calm and relaxed.
“To each males’s and girls’s groups, I wish to say, don’t take into consideration the rostrum end. Go match-by-match and stick collectively as one unit proper till the final day, the final match of the match,” he added.
Having made his India debut in 1989, Pillay was picked within the 1992 Olympic squad coached by Balkrishan Singh. Though India had a dismal outing in Barcelona and Atlanta, Pillay believes the closest they got here to a semi-final berth was on the Sydney Olympics in 2000. But a 1-1 draw towards Poland within the league stage put an finish to India’s hopes but once more.
“The evening earlier than a match, I all the time had the behavior of visualising my sport. How I might obtain the ball from Baljit Singh Dhillon or Mukesh Kumar. I might visualise the bottom and the gamers. If I can’t rating, then how I could make a PC. Those days, even crosses was essential within the sport,” mentioned Pillay.
“But with 1.46 minutes left, Poland scored an equaliser. We acquired two probabilities earlier than the ultimate whistle, however we couldn’t revert,” Pillay mentioned.
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