None but a good display in the Olympics -- that is the call from Roelant Oltmans to the India hockey team. With the Champions Trophy 2016 and the six-nation hockey tournament over, the likes of Sardar Singh and PR Sreejesh can finally put their focus on the Rio Olympics.
India men's hockey team have risen to No. 5 in the latest International Hockey Federation (FIH) rankings. They also achieved a milestone by securing a the best ever finish -- winning a silver in the Champions Trophy earlier this year.
With major tournaments over now, the sole focus lies on the Olympics. A two-week national camp is scheduled to start for the Rio-bound team on July 11, following which the team would leave for Madrid for two friendly matches. India men's hockey team will then travel to Rio de Janeiro to play another couple of friendlies against Spain and New Zealand.
"As proud as we are at our achievement [in the Champions Trophy 2016], we are also very grateful and overwhelmed by the reactions from the support we have received from home," said Indian hockey goalkeeper PR Sreejesh to Hockey India. "After a long tour, now we are focused on the Rio Games and ensuring a strong showing there so that we can make our supporters proud.
"We will have a few days break to rejuvenate ourselves before we resume the camp at SAI Bengaluru and get ready for Rio."
India men's hockey team coach Oltmans has also mentioned that the team needs to sharpen before the mega sporting quadrennial event. "Our aim was always to win a medal at the Champions Trophy. We have achieved that. It is on the backburner now though," said the Dutch hockey coach.
"We have to look ahead and focus on the Olympics. The team deserves a much-needed break after all the hard work, and then, very soon, it will be back to the grind as we sharpen up for the all-important Olympic Games."
AT A GLANCE:
India men's hockey team will be vying for their first gold medal in 36 years in Rio Olympics 2016.
India have bagged eight gold medals in the grand sporting event pre- and post-independence.
India men's hockey team last won a gold medal in the Olympics in 1980.