Mon, 27 Sep 2021

Tokyo [Japan], August 2 (ANI): After the Indian women's hockey team stunned Australia in the quarter-finals of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, coach Sjoerd Marijne said that the game proved that dreams do indeed come true.

India beat Australia 1-0 as they moved into the semis at the Tokyo Olympics. This is the first time that the Indian women's hockey side has made it to the semi-finals of the Olympics.

"After we qualified for the quarters, I told the team about the importance of being in the moment and not thinking about what-ifs and that is very difficult for an athlete because there are many things that are constantly playing in your mind, things like what if we win, what if we don't win, what if I don't stop the ball, so what I did is showed the team a movie and the film is about staying in the moment and I think that made a big difference in this match against Australia," said Marijne after the match against Australia.

"We didn't have a lot of practice matches before the Olympics so we kept telling the girls to improve with every match. We focussed on every individual improving her performance and if the personal performances are better then the performance of the team will be better. We knew that we had to learn from every match that we play since we didn't have a lot of games leading into the competition. After we lost 1-5 to the Netherlands, it looked as if everything was shattered, it wasn't. We only needed to make a few small improvements," he added.

In what comes as a historic day and possibly the greatest moment for women's hockey in India, Gurjit Kaur scored the lone goal in the match during the first half through a penalty corner in a very tightly contested match.

"Today, I told the girls to just play freely. The pressure is on the other team and that's really important to know. The quarter-final matches are really difficult for the teams who are higher ranked. And I wanted the players to be proud of themselves today, regardless of the result. And I told the players that at the end of the match, they shouldn't feel their legs after running so much on the pitch. We defended well today. The defensive structure during Penalty Corners was very good," said Marijne.

"This match also proves dreams can come true. If you start believing and you keep believing and you keep working hard, things can happen. You have to do the work to fulfill your dreams and that's what we did today," he added.

On Sunday, the men's hockey team also reached the semi-finals after Manpreet Singh's side defeated Great Britain 3-1. (ANI)

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