Bengaluru, Sept 28: Indian men's hockey forward Gurjant Singh, who scored as many as three goals at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, expressed that the historic Bronze Medal-winning campaign has taught the team that glory comes at a price.
He said that participating and fighting for a medal in Olympic Games is altogether a different ball game.
"Participating and fighting for a medal is altogether a different ball game. Every team wants to win, and they also come fully prepared, they had also worked hard like us, so it's not easy to win a medal at Olympics, and I reckon that was our biggest learning as well," said Gurjant.
"The whole journey from preparation to competing and winning a medal at the Olympics taught us that glory comes at a price, and the price was hard work. We had worked day and night, we worked on our physical fitness and mental fitness as well, we made a lot of sacrifices, and I think that paid off," he added.
When asked whether he was nervous playing his first Olympic Games, the 26-year-old forward said, "I think the confidence and excitement level was more than the nervousness. That feeling of representing your country, which has a very rich Olympics history in hockey, gives you extra confidence on the field. Yes, there was a bit of pressure in the Quarter Final match, but we managed it exceptionally well. We went on to win an Olympics medal after 41 years. I am fortunate that I was a part of it and could contribute to the team's historic campaign."
The Amritsar-born player added that the team's aim will be to maintain consistency and build on this historic campaign.
"It also doesn't mean that things will become easy for us, and we will win medals easily in the future tournaments. Hence, our main aim will be to maintain consistency and build on this historic campaign. We have raised our standards, and it's time to change the color of this medal. However, we will have to approach step-by-step, there will certainly be more challenges ahead, and we need to be fully prepared for whatever comes our way," he said.
Gurjant was a part of the India Colts team that clinched the 2016 FIH Junior Men's World Cup. While commenting on the upcoming FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021, which is scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar, the forward stated, "I am really delighted that the next edition of Junior World Cup is being organized in Bhubaneswar, the place which is home of the Indian Hockey. Odisha Government has been really supportive to Indian hockey, and the fans are really passionate about the sport, it will be a good experience for the Junior players."
"We have great memories from the 2016 World Cup. It was our career's first ever achievement and it has laid a strong foundation in our careers. I am sure our junior players will be excited about playing at home, and hopefully defend the title," he stated.
Gurjant, also well-known for his rapid 13-second goal during India's FIH Hockey Pro League 2020 debut match against the Netherlands, has been nominated for the POLIGRAS Magic Skills Award. This historic goal has been shortlisted along with the other five magical moments of the 2020-21 FIH Pro League season.
Source: Hockey India