Thursday, April 18, 2024

‘Aim is to upgrade our Tokyo bronze to gold in Paris’


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NEW DELHI, March 7: Having clinched a bronze medal in Tokyo Olympics, Indian men’s hockey team will look to upgrade to gold in the upcoming Paris Games, said skipper Harmanpreet Singh.
The record eight-time gold medalists had fought hard from a 1-3 deficit to beat Germany 5-4 in the bronze play-off at Tokyo in 2021, ending their 41-year wait for an Olympic medal.
Prior to that, India’s last Olympic medal was a gold in the Moscow Games in 1980.
“Tokyo was a monumental moment, and we’re determined to carry that momentum into Paris. Our goal is straightforward — to upgrade the colour of the medal by aiming for gold,” Harmanpreet said in a Hockey India release, reacting to India’s draw in Paris.
“Taking it one step at a time, our initial focus is on advancing through the group stage and securing a spot in the quarterfinals. With our experience and skill set, we believe we’re strong contenders for a podium finish,” he said.
World No. 4 India will kickstart their campaign against lower-ranked New Zealand on July 27, and then they will face No. 7 Argentina (July 29), No. 12 Ireland (July 30) and No. 2 Belgium (August 1).They will play their last group stage game against No. 5 Australians on August 2.
Expressing his thoughts on the fixtures, Harmanpreet conveyed his enthusiasm and determination: “Competing in Pool B is going to be challenging, given the undeniable potential of every team to emerge victorious on any given day.
“But we stand steadfast, mentally and physically prepared for every challenge that paves our journey at the Paris Olympics.
“As a collective force, our mindset is unwaveringly focussed on our own strengths, as we believe that by harnessing our full potential, we can beat anyone,” he added. (PTI)


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