Home / Sports / Reach semis first, advises Gurbux

Reach semis first, advises Gurbux

Gurbux also congratulated the Indian women’s team for their Olympic qualification
Gurbux Singh in the city on Tuesday
Gurbux Singh in the city on Tuesday
Telegraph picture

A Staff Reporter   |   Calcutta   |   Published 05.11.19, 08:33 PM

Hockey legend and former Olympian Gurbux Singh feels India’s men’s team should try to seal the semi- finals berth at the Tokyo Olympics first and then think of a medal.

“It’s good that the team has qualified for the Olympics. I know there are pressures of expectations. But the players should not be thinking of a medal from the beginning. That would not help. In my opinion, the first aim should be to reach the last-four stage,” Gurbux said on Tuesday.


“Group league matches would be very important. We should try to avoid mistakes. I strongly believe we have the potential to bag a medal, but for that we have to be cautious and need to go forward step by step,” he said.

Gurbux thinks lack of consistency remains a problem for India. “If you want to get a medal is a stage as big as the Olympics, first thing you need is consistency. In many matches, India played better than their opponents but lost due to lack of consistency. I hope the same mistake would not happen again,” Gurbux said.

The former star still follows almost every game India play. And he wants the national team to deliver this time. “We have last won the gold in Olympics way back in 1980. We should win big tournaments to inspire future generations. I believe this team can win the Olympics.”

Asked who is his favourite in this Indian team, Gurbux said: “I like Manpreet Singh the most. He is consistent and has the calibre to control the game.”

Gurbux thinks the team management has some plans in place for Tokyo. “The coach and officials are there. They must have a game plan,” he said.

Graham Reid was appointed India coach in April this year. Gurbux is so far happy with Reid’s performance. “The coach is as good as his team. When a team loses, people first target the coach. So far, Reid’s performance as India coach is good,” he said.

Gurbux also congratulated the Indian women’s team for their Olympic qualification. “It’s a big achievement for Rani Rampal and Co. They got the better of US last week, which was not an easy task. Hope they will do well in Tokyo too,” he said.

Meanwhile, the opening ceremony of the 123rd Beighton Cup will take place at SAI Netaji Subhas Eastern Regional Centre on Wednesday. Gurbux and Olympian Bir Bahadur Chettri will inaugurate the meet in presence state sports and youth affairs minister Aroop Biswas. The final of the tournament will be on November 12.

Sixteen teams (eight outstation and eight local) are participating in this edition of Beighton Cup. Out of them, 12 will play in the main round. It was learnt that with the Olympics around the corner, current India players may not be seen in action this time around.

Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.