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Asiad gold result of strategy and hard work, says Sardar

Asiad gold result of strategy and hard work, says Sardar
‘After we finished last in the 2012 Olympics, we put in all our plans and efforts to win Asian Games and qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. And when the time arrived, we delivered our best to achieve the goal,’ Sardar told IANS in an interview.

Winning the Asiad gold made India the first country to qualify for the men’s hockey tournament at the 2016 Olympics.

‘We badly wanted to qualify early for the Olympics as we have seen on previous occasions that it can become really difficult towards the end. All the boys have put in loads of hard work in the last two years and especially with chief coach Terry Walsh, our training was very effective. So, the gold is a culmination of all of these things.’

In the title clash against arch rivals and defending champions Pakistan earlier this month, India had prevailed 4-2 in a penalty shootout after the regulation period score read 1-1, to win the Asiad gold after a gap of 16 years. ‘We failed to produce results in the World Cup and finished runners-up to Australia in the Commonwealth Games. But we kept improving our game day-by-day. Despite the results not coming our way, we didn’t lose our focus and hunger which helped,’ the ace centre-half said.

‘In my eight years of international career, I have seen a lot of low moments as well as some high points. But being the Asiad champion is the biggest success in my life,’ the 28-year-old said.
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