Indian Men Hockey Team returns home with Asian Games Gold, receives grand welcome at IGI Airport
New Delhi, 5th October 2014: Sport’s lovers have a lot to celebrate this time as the gold medal winning Indian Men Hockey Team returns home from the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Republic of Korea with a heroes’ welcome at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi today early morning.
The homecoming was full of hugs, cheers and happy tears from friends and fans of the champions as they were welcomed home after nailing the final match defeating Pakistan and directly qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Staging a fantastic victory, the Indian team looked more confident and enthusiastic and ready to take on further challenges.
Hockey India President Ms. Mariamma Koshy, Md. Mushtaque Ahmad, Treasurer, Dr. Sudershan Pathak, Joint Secretary, Mr. Tapan Kumar Das, Joint Secretary, Ms. Elena Norman, CEO and Hockey India staff welcomed the champions.
The real hero included, India Goalkeeper and Vice-Captain, P R Sreejesh who excelled in the penalty shootout by making a number of gallant saves which gave India a historic gold medal win in the action packed finale. The triumph also piloted India directly into the Rio Olympics Games.
Speaking on the Gold, an excited P R Sreejesh said “There was no pressure on us for the finals against Pakistan as we were confident of winning. When they were leading at the end of the first quarter we still had no pressure as we were aware that we had 3 more quarters left in the game and we knew we would score and win. In the penalty shootout the entire team was relaxed and was confident on me and I too had no added pressure on me. I knew that I could stop them irrespective that their last match against the Malaysians, they had won in the same stage. I am happy that I did it for my country and from here the focus is on the Champions Trophy in December”
Speaking on the Gold win, Captain Sardar Singh said, “We worked hard for this tournament and won it. I am proud of my team mates. Thanks to all the players without whom it wouldn’t have been possible. Our team was indeed well prepared for their aggression. We will keep on improving with every match we play in the future.”
Congratulating the team, Hockey India Secretary General Dr Narinder Batra said, “I am happy that in such a high pressure game, the boys did not lose their confidence and tackled the pressure till the last shootout of the match. Having clinched the gold medal, the team has made us proud and the best thing about the team is that they have never stopped putting in efforts and succeeded in their strategy and game plan, though I still feel there is a lot of room for improvement.”a