Tokyo [Japan], August 6 (ANI): The Indian women’s hockey team might have lost the bronze medal match in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics but head coach Sjoerd Marijne feels that the Girls in Blue has inspired lots of women in India to take up sports.
The Indian women’s team played their hearts out in the Bronze medal match against Great Britain on Friday, however, they couldn’t achieve a podium finish after coming tantalizingly close.
The Rio Olympics Gold Medallists Great Britain registered a 4-3 victory over the Indians.
Post the heart-breaking loss, chief coach Sjoerd Marijne during a virtual media conference said, “We always had the belief that we can win a medal and we were really close. The girls believing in themselves makes me really proud.”
“I think that was one of the biggest steps we made. Every girl in the team has her own story and every story is amazing. Let’s hope that a lot of women in India have seen this Indian team’s performance and are inspired by the team to start playing hockey or any other sport,” he added.
Marijne also said the Indian team has won something more than a medal, “We showed a fighting spirit in the Bronze Medal match against Great Britain, but it wasn’t enough.”
“We gave away too many PCs and in these kinds of matches, you have to convert all your PCs into goals and I must say Gurjit (Kaur) did really well. I told the team that we didn’t win a medal, but we achieved something bigger than a medal and that’s inspiring an entire nation,” the coach added.
Asked about the turning point for the Indian team in the Olympics, Marijne said, “After the Pool match against Great Britain, I was extremely angry with the team. I told the team that if you go down then show that you really tried and then go down.”
“I told the team that they will have to do better and I think the team’s mindset transformed after that match. I and Janneke had a lot of individual meetings with the girls and they found the key for the next matches themselves. I think that was an important part of the tournament for us,” he pointed out.
Marijne stressed the fact that staying in the moment was very important for the Indian team in the Olympics, “We finished among the top four in this competition and every team is now taking us seriously. I think that is a big step.
“We have always looked to stay in the moment and be busy with our task. We have tried to develop this mindset for a long time. We wanted to avoid thinking about winning or losing because that makes you nervous and we wanted to stay away from that,” said Marijne.
During the media conference, the Indian women’s hockey team’s analytical coach Janneke Schopman said that she has been impressed with the team’s desire to always get better.
“What I have seen in this Indian team is their desire to learn. They ask a lot of questions and are willing to try a lot of things, which is quite impressive. The girls want to learn and want to improve.
“As a Coach, you want your team to have success, but for me, it was great to see how the team fought and how they played as a team. It’s been incredibly rewarding to be part of this team because of their mindset, wanting to learn, to get better, to fall, but to get back up. It’s truly been amazing,” said Schopman. (ANI)