Tokyo [Japan], August 6 (ANI): Hours after the Indian women’s hockey team finished fourth in the Tokyo Olympics and won the hearts of the fans back home, coach Sjoerd Marijne announced that he would be stepping down as the coach of the women’s national hockey team.
“It was my last match with the team,” said Marijne during a virtual press conference on Friday.
The Dutch coach had taken charge of the team for the first time in 2017.
“The Hockey India officials were left impressed with his work that he was asked to take charge of the men’s team. However, he returned back to the women’s hockey team after the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” stated the official website of the Olympics.
In the Olympic qualifiers, the Indian women’s hockey team beat the US 5-1 in the first game. However, in the next match, they went down 4-1 and just about managed to make the cut for the Olympics.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Marijne stayed back in India and resumed the practice sessions as soon as they were permitted to train. In January 2021, the team flew to Argentina where they drew two matches and lost on four occasions.
In February, they set sail for Germany for another exposure trip as part of their preparations where the team failed to win. However, they gained vital experience which helped them immensely.
At the Olympics, they had a dream run where they beat world no.3 Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals. However, in the semi-final and in the bronze medal play-off, they lost to Argentina and Great Britain respectively to finish fourth, which is their best performance ever at the Olympics. (ANI)