Tokyo Olympics: Indian men’s hockey team goalkeeper PR Sreejesh feels ‘legendary Dhyan Chand is deserving of Bharat Ratna’: Indian men’s hockey team goalkeeper PR Sreejesh stated that it’s a moment of pride as a player that Khel Ratna has been renamed after legend Dhyan Chand.
“Dada Dhyan Chand is deserving of Bharat Ratna. As a hockey player, it’s a moment of pride that Khel Ratna has been now renamed after him,” Sreejesh told ANI. “We were waiting for so many years for this to happen. When a player starts playing hockey, the only thing in their mind is when will they go to the Olympics and win a medal. So this [Bronze medal win] was the answer to everyone’s question, now whoever will play hockey will dream to win the medal in Olympics in the future,” the three-time Olympian pointed.
Sreejesh saved the 13th penalty corner of Germany in the final seconds of the bronze medal match in which Men in Blue defeated the Germans 5-4. This was India’s first Olympic hockey medal since Moscow 1980 with a display for the ages. Talking about that clutch last-minute save, Sreejesh said: “My life’s important seconds is the whole match because [it doesn’t matter] if you concede the last-minute or first-minute goal if you have to lose the match, you will.”
Tokyo Olympics: Indian men’s hockey team goalkeeper PR Sreejesh feels ‘legendary Dhyan Chand is deserving of Bharat Ratna’
“You have to keep your focus on all sixty minutes in the match. When a team concedes last-minute penalty corner, there is always additional pressure. Our focus at that time was on how to defence and how to stop the ball.”
The grass was not all green for the men’s hockey team in Tokyo as they suffered an embarrassing 7-1 defeat against Australia at Oi Hockey Stadium in just their second group match. “You have to give importance to each match and after that match, you have to forget it. It was a big defeat and the players were disappointed. But we didn’t have time to think about it because we have to play matches the next day. We had to think about what we can do better and improve on our mistakes,” Indian GK stated of that match.