Millennium Post

Unrealistic to expect a gold from India: Oltmans

Indian men hockey team’s chief coach Roelant Oltmans on Tuesday said it would be unrealistic to expect a gold medal-winning performance from the past masters of the game in this year’s Rio Olympics.

Oltmans said a top-six finish is what they are eyeing and anything above that would be a bonus. “In last Olympics, India finished 12th and stood sixth in the World Cup a couple of years back. So, how realistic will it be to expect a medal? If we reach top six position and manage to achieve even more, that could be a bonus,” he told reporters after a training session at the SAI Centre here. 

Oltmans said his approach of winning a tournament is very different from the Indian approach where people aim for medals. “Our approach is different from Indians who dream of winning gold, a silver or the cup. Unlike I approach a tournament to win one match after match,” he said. The Dutchman said he is not worried about the outcome in any tournment as for him the important thing is to execute plans successfully.

“For me, the outcome of the tournament is not the most important thing but executing our plans well against the best sides in the world,” he said.

Talking about the current Indian team, Oltmans said the players are very keen to learn all aspects of the game.

“This current Indian side is really eager to learn - the technical, the physical and mental aspects of the game everyday. We are together every moment and they are able to change the mindset and looking to play like improved players,” he said.

Asked which areas he was focusing on to improve, Oltmans said, “We always make sure that we have the right balance in the side. Of course we focus on improving goalkeeping. In fact our goalkeeper is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, but still we bring specialists to work with him.” 
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