New Delhi: Former Pakistan Olympic gold medallist Hasan Sardar, who supported the Indian hockey team in the absence of his team, said that Manpreet Singh’s team can win a medal in the Tokyo Olympics if he plays with mental toughness and aggression.
Sardar said in an interview to “Bhasha” from Karachi that since the Pakistani hockey team is not in the Tokyo Olympics, I will support the Indian team. In the last two-three years, India has played great hockey and defeated the top teams in the world and I think it will be among the top contenders for the title in Tokyo.
Praised the fitness of the Indian team
He praised the fitness of the Indian team and said that in this matter they are at par with the top teams of the world. He said that former India head coach Roelant Oltmans was also associated with the Pakistani team for some time. He believed that India is no less than top teams like Netherlands, Australia, Belgium in terms of fitness. Its effect was also seen on his performance.
Sardar, who is known for his excellent performances in big tournaments and matches, advised the Indian team to play with mental strength and aggression, saying that this was also the secret of their success at the international level.
He said that Indian is not less than anyone in stick work and fitness. Sometimes there is a lack of mental toughness. But it will have to be overcome at the Olympic level. In the Corona period, it is even more important and if needed, the service of a sports psychologist can be taken. Under the captaincy of Sardar, one of the best centre forwards in the world, the Pakistani hockey team last won the yellow medal in the Los Angeles Olympics. He was also the architect of Pakistan’s title victory in the 1982 Mumbai World Cup. He scored the most goals in the 1984 Olympics, 11 and the most 10 goals in the World Cup.
Challenged a day before the match – Hassan
Sardar, who was the architect of Pakistan’s victory in the Los Angeles Olympics, said that he had come down mentally prepared that he had to score at least ten goals which he scored. He said that we had created such an atmosphere that every member of the team used to inspire each other. Whenever our coach saw me, he would open his fists and point at ten, that is, remind me that ten goals have to be scored.
He told that we had to play Australia in the semi-final and I remember his coach challenged us the day before the match that we have to score at least three goals to beat them. Not three but I scored one and Australia couldn’t score a single goal against us. Sardar said that India will have to show this strength and with it aggression will have to be maintained. They have to come with the thought that they have to win at any cost and they have defeated all these teams recently.
India last won a gold medal at the Olympics in 1980 in Moscow. While Pakistan won the Olympic title in 1984. Since then Germany has won the gold medal thrice, the Netherlands twice, Australia and Argentina once each. Pakistan won the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics. Asked about the failure of both the teams in the last several years despite having a golden history in the Olympics, Sardar said that it is regrettable that we have not been able to win medals for so many years. In our era, Pakistan had players like Shahnaz Sheikh, Samiullah Khan, Hanif Khan, Kalimullah Khan. If this generation has not seen our team winning, then how will the new kids be inspired to play hockey and where will the talent come from.