'Our target is to win the Gold medal at the CWG": Hockey Team defender Surender Kumar
New Delhi, July 21, 2022
The Commonwealth Men's Hockey gold has eluded India so far and to win this elusive yellow medal the team has been training vigorously at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru.
Talking to Hockey India, defender Surender Kumar said "Our target is to win the gold medal at the Games. The rest will depend on our performances."
He said that the team's prime focus has been on physical fitness ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
"Our training sessions are still going on. Our focus has been mainly on fitness, and we have been working a lot on this aspect of the game. We have worked on getting stronger in other areas as well, especially in defence," he said.
India is placed in Pool B along with England, Canada, Wales, and Ghana at the Games. They will be opening their campaign against Ghana on July 31.
Surender maintained the team is not taking any teams lightly and will go game-by-game.
"We are not taking any match lightly. Every team will enter the tournament to win the gold medal. Our current focus is on the first game against Ghana," he said.
"We have been closely following their footage that we have received. Our coaches are making plans accordingly and we will hope to follow the same on the match day. There will be no easy teams in the tournament and we will go game-by-game," Surender added.
India finished third at the FIH Men's Hockey Pro League 2021-22 and the defender believes the experience of competing against tough teams in the tournament will benefit India in Birmingham.
"The matches that we have played since the Tokyo Olympics 2020 have been quite good. We have played against strong teams and it has really benefited us. We executed our plans well and thus we were also able to recognize the areas where we can improve upon. We have focused on those areas at the camp," he added.
"We have told the players to not feel the pressure of performing at the Commonwealth Games, and to take them as normal games. The coaches and senior players have also been telling them that they have experience of playing against strong teams and hence, they are ready to perform in the competition," he added.