‘Indian men’s hockey team will bag medal if Olympics takes place’, Walmiki

'Indian men's hockey team will bag medal if Olympics takes place', WalmikiJaipur, Jun 3 (UNI) Indian hockey player Yuvraj Walmiki has a strong belief that men’s team will win a medal if the Tokyo Olympics goes ahead as per schedule.

In the latest episode of ‘SportTiger Talks’, the 31-year-old Walmiki, spoke about the national team’s prospects in Tokyo, his life’s struggles and how hockey helped him become a better human being.

“One thing I will definitely say is that Indian hockey right now is doing wonderfully well under (leadership of) (PR) Sreejesh and Manpreet (Singh),” Walmiki said.

“I still have this gut feeling… In case, Tokyo Olympics takes place, the Indian hockey team will bag a medal this time. I have this strong belief in my heart,” he added.

The Indian hockey team boasts eight gold medals at the Olympics – the most by any team in the history of the Games.

Yuvraj believes a medal at such a big stage would help the hockey players in India get the requisite importance in the current generation that prefers cricket over any other game.

However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is facing immense pressure to cancel the Tokyo Olympics due to a surge a COVID-19 cases in the country.

Walmiki, who started playing hockey just to see his picture in the newspapers, spoke about his early days of struggle. He talked about how he grew up in a 10×10 room in Mumbai with no electricity and water and the passion that kept him going.

“I don’t have any competitors, I keep competing with myself to become a better human and work hard every day. In the end, it worked out well for me and to wear the tricolour badge on our chest is probably the biggest motivation for every sportsman,’ the player said.

The year 2011 was a breakthrough year for Yuvraj as he represented India at the Asian Champions Trophy where he was the shining star in the final against Pakistan.

Notably, India had won the tournament after defeating Pakistan in the final in a penalty shootout after regulation and extra time ended scoreless.

Yuvraj expressed his happiness on being part of such a historic match and said, ‘When the Indian flag was being raised and the Pakistan flag was coming down, at that moment, I felt that I have done something for the country as the national flag was being raised because of me.’

The seasoned striker also opened up on the scenario during India-Pakistan matches.

‘India versus Pakistan is always a special match. During that time, no strategies work because emotions themselves play such a huge role. We’ve always been tough on them,’ he said.

‘I do have friends from the Pakistan hockey team as well. When it comes to the game, we’ll all meet up nicely but when we put our foot on the ground, we don’t see left or right, we just focus on winning that match because we can’t lose against them at any cost,’ he added.

Yuvraj, who is a big fan of former India captain Dhanraj Pillay, has also played in the German Hockey League for 8 years. He has played a total of 52 matches and scored 14 goals for  India. He was a key member of the 2014 Hockey World Cup team in the Netherlands.

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