We have moved on from the lows of London Olympics: Sardar Singh
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Indian hockey had touched a new low when it was handed the wooden spoon during the London Olympics last August, but inspirational skipper Sardar Singh feels the summer of discontent is a thing of the past now.
Not even a single win came India's way during the London Olympics as the national game experienced one of its darkest hours but a strong showing in the Champions Trophy and Asian Champions Trophy instilled a fresh lease of life into Indian hockey.
"We have left it behind and moved on. After London Olympics, we performed well at the world's best tournament, Champions Trophy and finished fourth. I, as a skipper, motivated players to perform well and forgot about Olympics," Sardar told PTI in a candid interview.
"The players did well and their hard work paid rich dividends. We defeated world's best teams, New Zealand, England and Belgium in the tournament. In the Asian trophy, we were unlucky as poor umpiring cost us the final against Pakistan other wise we would have won it," he added.
Reflecting on the London Games, Sardar said: "It was disappointing and hurt us. After we qualified for the London Olympics, our coach Michael Nobbs and trainer David John made us work hard for the remaining 5-6 months before the Games. We practiced day in day out. The team members were away from their homes and spent most of the time on the astro turf.
"The one month camp in Spain before the Games, we played four-nation and three-nation tournaments and the world's best teams were there. We performed well in those particular tournaments. We were unlucky that when Olympics started and barring our first match, we did not perform well in the next matches," Sardar said.
For Sardar, the script went awfully wrong at the London Games because of three reasons -- man-to-man marking was not up to the mark, players weren't aggressive in the 'D' and ball trapping was missing.