<i>Chak de</i> moment for hockey team

Updated: 13 September 2007 06:33 IST

The movie Chak de India might be around women's hockey but it seems to have had more of an effect on the men's game.

<i>Chak de</i> moment for hockey team

New Delhi:

The movie Chak de India might be around women's hockey but it seems to have had more of an effect on the men's game.

The women's team finished fourth at the Asia Cup but the men's team defended their title in style beating the Asian games gold medallists 7-2 in Chennai.

It was India's first major win in four years and so the big boss of Indian hockey is having a change of heart.

While the victory on Sunday has guaranteed India a place in the 2010 World Cup which India will host, there is still the big one for India early next year when they try to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

"You see I think India has now scored 50 goals and we have given away three goals. We shall look at the quality of goals given away and then decide on the matter. I think the goals that were given away were very hard goals so there will be no reductions and Rs 50,000 even today is a good amount of money," said KPS Gill, President, Indian Hockey Federation.

Gill did a complete u-turn just five days after the IHF had announced an incentive for the team where they would receive Rs 1000 for every goal scored and lose Rs 2000 for every goal conceded.

It seems the victory in the Asia Cup has pacified the former Punjab DGP. But one man who wants more from the team is the coach himself.

"Its the third tournament under me. We lost the first two tournaments. We were bronze medallists. The very fact that we have won the tournament means that we are an improving side," said Joaquim Carvalho, Coach, Indian Hockey Team.

"I am not saying we have improved and there's a still a lot of work to be done..I am looking forward to the Olympic Qualifier and that's my main goal for putting India back into the Olympics," said Carvalho.

That journey to Beijing for Team India will begin at the three Olympic qualifying tournaments early next year. Victory in any one of them will guarantee a place at the Summer Olympics.

"I look at each tournament differently. How the team goes prepared for the next tournament is hard to say since we haven't played an international tournament for sometime. How much competitive hockey you play in between will give a better idea of our preparations," said Jagbir Singh, Former India Coach.

"But having said that I consider this a huge win for Indian Hockey because I have never seen such a big margin of victory in an Asia Cup final," said Singh.

Regardless of the preparations though, the fans who came in the thousands to see India win it first piece of silverware in four years went back home a very happy bunch.

""The game was excellent. I have watched almost all the matches. They played superb. They showed excellent spirit," said a fan.

"This invokes a lot of national interest because of the national sport that it is and now I am sure their will be good coverage for hockey as well. You can see the stadium was full today. There were queues to get in. This means a lot to Indian fans not just me," added another hockey fan.

This is truly the best time for the Indain hockey as the fans have reposed their faith in the game.



Topics : Hockey
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