Asia Cup win marks revival of Indian hockey: Kalmadi

IOA President Suresh Kalmadi on Saturday hailed the junior Asia Cup win as revival of Indian hockey.

updated: July 23, 2008 18:19 IST
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New Delhi:

Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi on Saturday hailed the junior Asia Cup win as "revival" of Indian hockey and said it had chalked out a roadmap for the ultimate target of winning a medal in the 2012 London Olympics.

"The gold-winning performance by our young team against South Korea in the final of Junior Asia Cup at Hyderabad (on Friday) marks the revival of Indian hockey," Kalmadi said in a statement issued on Saturday.

Kalmadi said the win had laid the roadmap for the future of the Indian hockey.

"The win has already chalked out a roadmap for the talented bunch and now it is up to it, the coach and all others connected with the game to take it forward. We are very much heading in the right direction."

Kalmadi said the 2010 World Cup would be the prelude to the commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy would be the precursor to the 2012 London Olympics, where India is determined to win a medal.

"I would like to reiterate that the FIH has allotted the Hockey World Cup to India and it will be hosted in 2010 in New Delhi. In fact, this will serve as a test event before the 2010 Commonwealth Games," he said.

"India will also host the Men's Champions Trophy in 2012 before the London Olympic Games, besides the Asian Women's Championship. The venues and dates will be finalised later," Kalmadi said.

"It will be our endeavour to take Indian hockey to its glorious past and we are also determined to improve our game to global standards. Towards that end, we have made plans, including hosting several international tournaments which will lead us to 2012 Olympics in London with the ultimate aim of winning a medal," he said.

He singled out Diwakar Ram, the find of the tournament, for special praise as he was also intrumental in bringing the trophy home.

"I congratulate all the team members, especially captain Gurbaj Singh and coach A K Bansal for guiding the squad to a superb win. I also would like to convey my special appreciation to young Diwakar Ram from Uttar Pradesh for showing a fine presence of mind during the game and for striking the 'golden' goal.

"This victory not only means a lot for the talented bunch that showed a remarkable courage despite being down 0-2 to kept its cool and snatch the title but also proves that they are the team for the future."