Former India High-Performance Director David John believes the Indian hockey team will peak in the 2028 Olympics, providing the country its greatest chance at a gold medal in several years.
"Our current junior World Cup players will make up the majority of the squad in the 2024 and 2028 Games." They'd have played around 300 Internationals together by then and be around 30 years old," he said on the sidelines of a Khelo India Youth Games match, implying that the team would have the necessary experience to handle any strain.
Indian hockey has recently shown signs of a heartening comeback, with the men's team winning bronze and the women's team placing a courageous fourth at the Tokyo Olympics.
“These are exciting times for India but many squads - including Germany, Australia, Belgium and Holland - are also getting better,” David warned.
The High-Performance Director David, who had been with Team India for several years before resigning, is back in the country as Odisha’s Director of Hockey. He is excited with his assignment, especially as he has the complete support of the sport-loving Chief Minister of the state, Naveen Patnaik.
“It is a challenging role. But if Odisha becomes strong, Indian hockey becomes strong, both in men and women,” he explained, confirming that his goal and brief was to make his team Number 1 in the country.
In pursuit of this goal, Odisha is already building 20 more synthetic turfs for hockey, and that too in the deepest pockets of the state where extreme poverty co-exists with an abundance of natural talent.
“Soon, our kids will play on synthetic and not on grass from the grassroots level itself,” he thundered, confirming the well-known notion that this was the only way forward for Indian hockey.
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