Need to be prepared for unforeseen challenges, says Indian hockey captain Manpreet Singh

Indian captain Manpreet Singh had said that his side should be focused on things that can be in their control

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Even as the Indian women’s hockey team is visiting Argentina for their first international tour in almost a year, the men’s hockey team is still dealing with the uncertainties the pandemic is throwing their way.

Their scheduled tour of South Africa has been cancelled due to the new strain of Coronavirus and another surge in number of cases.

The ‘Summer Series’ in South Africa would have marked the men’s hockey team’s return to international competition in almost a year. Scheduled to take place in Cape Town from January 10-27, the tournament was set to feature Belgium, France, Great Britain and India apart from hosts South Africa.

It is another roadblock in their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, which was postponed to the summer of 2021 due to the pandemic.

Only a day before the news of the tour cancellation trickled in, Indian captain Manpreet Singh had said that his side should be focused on things that can be in their control.

Current Indian captain Manpreet Singh

The biggest learning from last year was to not let external factors affect our goal,” said Manpreet Singh.

“There could be many uncertainties but we need to only worry about what's within our control and that is to work towards being our best. There could be several challenges leading up to the Olympic Games this year and we need to be mentally prepared for it.” 

Team India's last competitive outing was the FIH Pro League in Bhubaneshwar in February 2020.

The Indian men will be striving to regain lost glory and aim for a podium finish at the Tokyo Olympics. The national team has failed to secure a medal since the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow where they won a gold medal. 

In recent years - India finished sixth at the World Cup (2018), second in Champions Trophy (2018), bagged a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games, and finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. 

Team India, however, remains the most successful team at the Olympics despite their medal drought. The national team have clinched eight gold medals as they emerged as champions at the games in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1980.