The Men’s hockey captain of the 1980 Olympics shares his thoughts on the men’s and women’s hockey teams.
Hockey legend and Captain of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games Vasudevan Baskaran believes the Indian Teams are poised to bring glory at the Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled for this July.
In a podcast, Baskaran expressed that the teams must inculcate a strong belief that they can finish on the podium. He said, “The Men’s team has been playing really well. My advice to them is to keep the confidence level up.
Each player has come up the hard way to reach here. It would perhaps be the first Olympics for about seven-eight players, and I feel they should aim for a medal. This is possible only when everybody in the team believes that they can be capable of a podium finish.”
Speaking of the Indian Women’s Team, Baskaran stated that the team has gained tremendous confidence since their previous outing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Beating USA at the FIH Olympic Qualifier, Baskaran says the team led by Rani Rampal has earned its place in the Olympic by sheer determination. Now, they must remain focused on finishing in top 4.
“When I played the 1980 Moscow Olympics, women’s hockey was included. Our team had missed the Bronze medal closely. After seeing the current Indian Women’s Hockey team, particularly from 2016 they have developed a lot of confidence. I saw them play live in Bhubaneswar when they beat USA, one of the best teams in the world. They rightfully earned the place in the Olympics.”, said Baskaran.
“They are on the up-hill scale. I feel they are capable of doing well. They need to push themselves for the first 4 position. I know Rani and team are capable of doing very well,” he said.
Vasudevan Baskaran reminisced about the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games where his team won the prestigious Gold Medal after beating Spain in the Final. He spoke candidly about his young team and how they prepared during the national camp held in Bangalore and the challenges the team faced in the lead up to the Games.
“Nobody expected the team to win a medal. We were going with a young squad. But the days we spent in Bangalore for the camp were very crucial in team bonding. Arriving at Moscow ten days before the Olympics made a lot of difference,” concluded Baskaran.