EXCLUSIVE: 'Did not go our way', says India Hockey player Nilakanta Sharma on CWG final loss vs Australia
Talking to a zeenews journalist, India's Hockey player Nilakanta Sharma shared his views on the final defeat and what the Indian players are aiming next moving forward
India men's Hockey team won silver at the Commonwealth Games 2022 Birmingham after a stellar performance in the competition where they were set to face mighty Australia in finals for the historic first-ever gold medal in the competition. Unfortunately, the Indian team faced a horror 0-7 defeat in the finals which saw them settling for a proud silver medal but the faces of the players after the final said it all.
Talking to a zeenews journalist, India's Hockey player Nilakanta Sharma shared his views on the final defeat and what the Indian players are aiming next moving forward.
From Tokyo 2020 Bronze to CWG 2022 Silver, how much has the team worked hard for this huge achievement and what were the hardships and challenges everyone including u faced?
"Our Chief Coach Graham Reid has been very supportive, he keeps telling us that we should enjoy the game and to not take too much pressure. This advice really helped me at Commonwealth Games 2022 as we were able to focus on our natural game and were able to play freely."
How is the team preparing for the next gold for country?
"We all are really eager to return to training and prepare ourselves for the upcoming competitions. We all want to improve as a team, and with the World Cup next year, everyone wants to be in the best shape and form in the coming months. A solid performance at the Commonwealth Games 2022 has motivated the team to work even harder."
Is India hungry for revenge against Australia sometime soon? or How do you think a team like Australia can be beaten?
"India performed brilliantly throughout the tournament, picking an 11-0 win over Ghana in their opening Pool B match. With a 4-4 draw against England, followed by an 8-0 win over Canada and a 4-1 win over Wales, India booked a spot in the Semi-Final, where we went past South Africa with a 3-2 win to reach the Final. Even though the Final against Australia did not go our way, we learned a lot from the match and have to improve upon in training."
So many brands in the market but why steadfast nutrition only? What are the talks inside the dressing when the CWG 2022 began?
"The current generation of sports lovers are highly educated and they are also paying attention to other games as well apart from cricket. People & Fans are showing their interest in games like kabaddi, hockey and football. We just need regular wins to feel proud being hockey players. Steadfast Nutrition gives you the confidence of premium formulations in unique portable single serving sachets. A sport like Hockey needs a lot of energy and the body does tire out after a long game. Players are far more confident now (compared to Gold Coast 2018) and we were discussing the same as this time we had an Olympic Medal with us. There was a time when we used to get anxious before facing some of the stronger teams but that is not the case now. The players are ready to face anyone and are confident that we can win."