Tag Archives: Hockey

India will be one of the strongest contenders for a medal at the Games: Former Hockey Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans

Harpal Singh Bedi


DUSSELDORF India Practice Matches Germany v India Picture: Harmanpreet Singh © FRANK UIJLENBROEK

New Delhi:  Going by the current form and recent performances against strong sides ,Indian (men) hockey team has a very good chance of podium finish at the Tokyo Olympics feels former Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans 

According to Oltmans, if the players remain focused and determined then India will be one of the strongest contenders for a medal at the Games 

The Dutchman was Chief Coach of the Indian team that reached the Quarter Final stage in the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

In a conversation with Hockey Te Charcha, a podcast series initiated by Hockey India he said that the team has made headway since then and emphasized that mental toughness will be a deciding factor for any team to succeed in Tokyo. 

“For me, the India is among the top five contenders to win a medal in Tokyo. The team has shown good consistency in competing with the best teams in the world over the last two years.

“India has already shown they can beat teams like Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands. However, doing it at the Olympics will be a different matter. The decisive factor when you are trying to win such a tournament is the mentality of the team. 

‘You cannot panic if you are behind in a game or get overexcited when you are ahead. You have to be in control of each situation,” Oltmans opined.. 

The veteran coach was of the view that the weather conditions in Tokyo will be another key factor as it is expected to be high on humidity during the Olympics.

“In terms of physical fitness all the top teams in the world are at the same level so no team has an obvious advantage, but the weather conditions will be more favourable for India as they are used to that type of climate. The weather will definitely be harsher for the European teams, and they will have to adjust to it.” 

“Preparing the team to secure a medal in the Tokyo Olympics was always the main objective since I joined as High-Performance Director at Hockey India in 2013, and then became Chief Coach of the Men’s Team in 2015. 

“India has made progress in that regard with their current standing, and Hockey India has created the conditions for this to happen through its professional setup.

“You need a good development plan, but you also need the resources to execute a plan. Hockey India and SAI have played a big part in creating and executing this plan to develop hockey in India,” he added 


India has a very good chance at the Tokyo Olympics: Hockey Defender Jarmanpreet Singh

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: India has a very good chance at the Tokyo Olympics, feels hockey defender Jarmanpreet Singh. “I think everyone is really excited for what is to come for Indian hockey in the next few years. I want to make sure that I am part of the team when we go out there and win medals”  the 24- year old defender told Hockey India in Bengaluru

Being a realistic Jarmanpreet also added before that, just like the rest of the sporting world, I am also hopeful that the mega-event goes ahead as planned. “I believe that Hockey India has done an exceptional job to provide a platform to players like myself, and I want to repay their support by giving my best on the field”, he said.

Jarmanpreet Singh came into the Senior Team set-up in 2018, and in his debut tournament, wore a Silver Medal around his neck as India finished second behind Australia at the s Champions Trophy 2018 held in Breda, The Netherlands.

The energetic Defender went on to win a Gold Medal with the Senior Team in only his second tournament at the Senior level as India were jointly crowned the Champions of the  Asian Champions Trophy 2018 in Muscat, Oman. , 

“I have had the privilege of representing my country at the highest level, and have also won medals, so it gives me real joy. My aim always is to try to do my best for the team, and to make sure that I am following what my coaches are asking me to do – because I know if I am able to do those things, we will be really successful as a team.”

“When I look back at the career I’ve had with the Senior Team, I feel really proud because there is so much competition in our team that it’s not easy to get into the final 18 squad. 

However, to have played in four amazing tournaments including the Olympic Test Event in 2019, and the FIH Hockey Pro League in 2020, I feel really blessed and motivated to keep doing the right things. I understand that only the best can represent the team, and I want to earn that right to be in the team consistently by performing well.” he added

 He  is o mindful of the fact that he will need to maintain the consistency on the field. “I was delighted with the way the FIH Hockey Pro League campaign was going for me before the pandemic struck. I felt I had decent outings against the World Champions, and I was really looking forward to the next few games, but now it is just about taking it day-by-day here at the National Camp.

 I feel now our focus has had to shift to maintaining our rhythm and our fitness. But the best thing is that we have also managed to get together, brainstorm and build a clear path towards what we want to achieve in the next few years as a team,” he concluded


Physical strength plays important role for strikers in modern hockey: Forward Gursahibjit Singh

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: Promising hockey striker  Gursahibjit  Singh   feels  that physical strength plays a important role for an international striker. 

Talking  to Hockey India  in Bengaluru,  the  21-year-old forward  said:  “In the past, we used to have silky players who would make their way between defenders and showcase their skill to score the goals, but I believe hockey has changed a lot over the years. In modern hockey, you have to be strong if you are a striker or an attacking player.’

”You have very tight and limited spaces on the pitch, and once you have the ball, or even if you’re making some runs, you have to have a physical presence which troubles the opposition, and having that strength and muscle is something I’ve been trying to work on these past few months,” .

With 20 International Caps to his name  Gursahibjit Singh made his debut for the Senior team at the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2019, Gursahibjit has since scored a total of six goals and has been part of some memorable Indian wins in the past two years, most notably the Olympic Test Event held in Tokyo in August 2019, where the youngster scored three goals, including one in the Final against New Zealand.

 “When I was playing back at home in Gurdaspur, Punjab, at a young age, I didn’t think I would one day be a part of the national team. I started playing because I used to like the sport, but playing it professionally? I wasn’t really sure. However, as fate would have it, I happened to play well and slowly understood a lot of technical things about our sport that led me to winning some excellent accolades in my formative years,” said the  striker.

“Since then I have come a long way, and now I would say I’m definitely planning to become one of the best strikers in the world. I have some amazing people here in the team who have certainly helped me grow – my coaches and teammates have always understood how I like to play my hockey, but I think there’s still so much for me to learn and then put into execution to be able to achieve my huge ambitions with the country,” he added  .

Talking about this current period   he believes having the time to improve in multiple facets of the game can help him find a regular spot in the Indian team. “I have always been a quick learner, and I want to make sure I am learning something or the other every single day.

‘ We have a lot of things to look forward to, including the biggest tournament – the Olympics. So I am giving my 100% in each session, whether it is on the hockey pitch or in the gym, I am eager to keep improving in all areas. I know there is no substitute for hard work and I will be making sure I am taking all the opportunities I get,”


FIH Hockey Pro League matches postponed

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Lausanne, Switzerland: With the travel constraints governed by the regulations in place in Germany, Belgium and China due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic, the International Hockey Federation (FIH), on request of the travelling teams involved, has decided to postpone the following FIH Hockey Pro League matches:

Great Britain vs Germany   (initally planned on 14 and 15 November, China vs Belgium (initially planned on 23 and 24 January).

FIH will keep on monitoring the evolution of the global health situation closely and define, together with the teams concerned and its broadcast partners, new dates for these matches when it will be possible to do so.

FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: “While it’s always a pity to have to take such decisions, we fully understand the situation and this is the most appropriate course of action to date. We do hope that the global health situation will improve soon and our thoughts are with all those who are affected at the moment. We’re looking forward to enjoying international hockey matches next year again!”

Season 2 of the FIH Hockey Pro League – the annual global League involving the world’s best international teams, both men and women – started in January 2020 and has been extended until May 2021 because of the pandemic.