New Delhi, July 19:
As part of its preparation for the 2016 Olympics, Hockey India (HI) will evaluate the performance of the national teams in the recently held Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Finals in Antwerp.
While the men’s team reached the semi-finals and finished fourth in Belgium, the women’s outfit were ousted from the quarter-finals but managed to end fifth in the global competition.
However, this step comes in following media reports which suggest that there has been a fall-out between HI president Narinder Batra and men’s team chief coach Paul van Ass, who has not returned from Europe to take charge of the national fitness camp.
A Special Committee was formed by Batra earlier this month to assess the performance of the teams. The committee is made up of former eminent former players and Olympians and is chaired by Harbinder Singh. Other committee members include B.P. Govinda, V. Baskaran, A.B. Subbaiah, Thoiba Singh, R.P. Singh, Asunta Lakra and Jasjeet Kaur.
The committee, which will meet on July 24, will review reports, relevant data etc. and provide feedback and recommendations for the future course of action for the teams in their preparation for the Rio Games.
“It is very essential for HI to closely monitor the performance of the teams as we are gearing up for 2016 Olympics and there cannot be any leeway or scope for error now,” HI secretary general Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad said.
The Indian women’s team’s fifth place finish at HWL Semi-Finals should be sufficient for them to gain entry to the Olympics but this will only be clear by October. The men’s team, on the other hand, qualified for the Games by winning the 2014 Asian Games gold in Incheon. (IANS)