Former forward Tushar Khandekar has strong faith in the current Men’s Hockey team. He believes the national team has raised the bar in every aspect of the sport, and it will be a strong contender in the upcoming Olympics.
Olympics 2021 is scheduled to begin from July 23 in Tokyo, Japan.
He expressed his feelings on ‘Hockey te Charcha’, a podcast series initiated by Hockey India at the fore of the Olympics. “I feel the way the team (Indian Men’s Team) is doing right now; they are a strong contender to finish on the podium,” he was quoted as saying during the podcast.
He said team India has learnt a lot from all the events that have taken place so far. The year 2008 was not very successful as we couldn’t qualify for the match but we bagged 12th in London and endorsed 8th position in Rio. The London Olympics (2012) have taught us many things.
The players constituted in the present team know very well how even a minute mistake impacts the overall game. And recent tours to Australia and Europe have reflected the impressive transformation of the National team.
He took further and added, “…players part of the London Olympics like Sreejesh, Manpreet, Sunil, Danish Mujtaba, Raghunath (and others) who also got to play in Rio had told themselves the team won’t make the same mistakes they made in London. Likewise, I am sure players who were part of the Rio Olympics will caution the team of the errors they need to avoid making in Tokyo.”
“After the depression in 2008-09, it has taken us 10-11 years to climb to the level we are at today,” added the sportsman who made his international debut in 2003.
He delivered his service as an assistant coach to team India between 2014 to 2016.