Indian hockey team returns with silver in Azlan Shah
The Indian hockey team returned home after clinching the silver medal at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.
The India team performed creditably to reach the final where they lost 0-4 to reigning world champions Australia. This was the seventh appearance for India in the final of the annual tournament. They have won the title five times. The 2016 performance was the team’s best since 2010, when they won the gold at the tournament. India beat Japan, Canada, Pakistan and Malaysia in the tournament but lost the finals to Australia to end with the silver medal. Fielding an experimental team, which featured a lot of young, inexperienced faces, they scored 18 goals in the tournament, the second most by any side. Speaking after arriving in the country, captain Sardar Singh said, “This was a good experience for youngsters, who were playing with the senior team for the first time. In particular, Harmanpreet, Surender and Harjeet showed that they are capable of playing at the higher level and fit into the team perfectly.” Coach Roelant Oltmans also added, “It’s a good preparation for Rio.
We have identified some of our weaknesses, which a tournament like this highlights, and can now work on them extensively to make sure we can have a strong showing at the Olympics.”