Former Indian hockey player and two time Olympics medallist Gurbux Singh feels that the Indian hockey team should not rest on their laurels. He wants the team to do consistently well after their historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Gurbux Singh was an integral part of India’s gold medal win in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He then led the Indian team to a bronze medal win in the 1968 Mexico Olympics. The former Hockey legend shared his stories on “Hockey Te Charcha”- a podcast organised by Hockey India. Gurbux shared his experience of playing arch rivals Pakistan in the final of the Tokyo Olympics.
“We decided in a team meeting before the final not to play rough against Pakistan, but in case they make it a physical battle, we have to give it back to them. That is what actually happened as well. We dominated and had some chances early in the game, and we took a 1-0 lead. Pakistan had a lot of penalty corners towards the end, which resulted in a very tense finish. I kept looking at the match clock, and 20 seconds passing felt like 20 minutes at the time. We eventually held on to win 1-0, and it was a beautiful feeling to bring the Olympic Gold medal back to India,” said Gurbux, in an official release issued by Hockey India.
The former Indian hockey star also highlighted how it is a matter of pride for the entire nation to win a medal at the Olympics after 41 years. But he also added that India should now focus on the job at hand. Tournaments like Asian Games, FIH World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics are inching closer every day and the Indian team should aim for consistency.
“The team has made everyone proud and happy after winning an Olympic medal after a long gap of 41 years. They should enjoy this moment, but keep in mind that we cannot rest on our laurels now. Now that the team has found success, they will have a target on their back and other teams will look to push harder against India now. We have to start preparing for the next Olympics and aim to do even better. The team has to set targets one at a time, beginning with the Asian Games, then the FIH Men’s World Cup, and the 2024 Paris Olympics,” Gurbux added.