New Delhi: The Indian men’s hockey team won the bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after 41 years. And many believe that the glory of Indian hockey has come back with this achievement.
Legendary hockey Olympian Ashok Dhyan Chand describes the Indian hockey team winning a bronze medal in Tokyo Olympics as a remarkable achievement. He feels that Indian hockey is in the right direction, but there is a lot to be done to achieve the old legacy.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of the Hockey wizard of India, Dhyan Chand, Ashok said that he supported the movements for Bharat Ratna for his father for years, but now he has laid down his arms.
I am happy that the National Sports Awards are given in the name of my father Dhyan Chand, said Ashok in a chat with IANS.
Q. India won the bronze medal in the Olympics after 41 years, this is a big achievement. But how do you see the way we lost to Australia in CWG? Or if I ask, what is the reason for such a defeat? What do you think about it?
A. If the country which has so many medals in the Olympics wins the bronze medal after 41 years, then you can consider it a big achievement. But I don’t. For me, the Olympic bronze is a new beginning. The dignity of Indian hockey is huge. We had lost it, now efforts should be made to bring it back.
See the fact is we won Olympic bronze after so many years. Yes, it was a welcome achievement for Indian hockey. But after the Olympics, Australia beat us badly. We still don’t have answers for the Australian team. I think improvement is necessary for this, or else tomorrow some other teams will also consider Indian hockey as easy prey. At the International level, there is not much difference between the first seven-eight teams and a small mistake can push us far back.
Q. How do you see your association with him? How was he as a father and coach?
A. He was very special to me. He taught me the game and how to play it right. He had more than a thousand school teachers. He was not just my father, but a teacher, mentor, and much more, a very good friend. Dhyan Chand is still alive in our hearts. Every person in the country, even kids know about Dhyan Chand. It’s a huge honour in itself.
Q. Today is your father’s birthday. How do you see his contribution to Indian hockey?
A. As long as the sport hockey is played in India and the world, my father’s name will be associated with it. There are some people whose name becomes immortal. My Father, Dhyan Chand, is one of them. Indian hockey is incomplete without him. You can understand that he did not get Bharat Ratna, but whenever there is talk about hockey, his name will definitely come. And this is more than any other award.
Q. How do you see Indian hockey in the coming days?
A: Today’s players are getting better facilities. Foreign coaches are there, and players are busy abroad or in national camps for years, but rarely play in their country in front of their fans, whereas players of my era live in their environment and among their hockey lovers. I think we should wait till the Paris Olympics. That’s where the real test of Indian hockey will be.