Jarmanpreet Singh also revealed how he bounced back after being banned for two years for failing a dope test in 2015.
Jarmanpreet Singh said the defeat in the 2022 CWG final to Australia will serve as a learning curve for the Indian men’s hockey team. Image: Twitter/@jarmanpreet04
The Indian men’s hockey team won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022 but they will be disappointed as they failed to produce a good show in the final clash against Australia and suffered a 0-7 defeat.
However, in an exclusive interview with FirstpostIndia hockey defender Jarmanpreet Singh asserted that the loss in the CWG 2022 final would serve as a learning curve for India and they will bounce back and beat Australia in the 2023 Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup if the two teams clash against each other.
Jarmanpreet also revealed how he bounced back after being banned for two years for failing a dope test in 2015.
What went wrong for the India hockey team in the CWG 2022 final? Was there a pressure of winning gold?
There wasn’t any kind of pressure, but we can say that it was a bad day at work for us. Also, Australia is a top team. But, the defeat is a very good learning point for us and it will help us prepare better for the upcoming matches. So, we will learn from our mistakes and perform better in the future.
India men’s hockey team has made it to the final of CWG thrice and on all three occasions, they have lost to Australia. Why is that? Is there any kind of psychological pressure on India when they play against the Aussies?
Well, there’s no such psychological pressure against Australia, but we all know that they are a world class side. But, we will work on ourselves as it is possible that we will have to face Australia once again in the Hockey World Cup next year. So, we will focus on rectifying our mistakes and improving as a team.
Are you confident of India beating Australia in the 2023 World Cup if the two teams clash against each other?
Definitely, I am confident that India can beat Australia in the World Cup. We will work hard and we will be geared up to face any team in the competition as we consider all of them equal as, in today’s times, every hockey team is strong.
Talking about you, when and why did you decide to become a professional hockey player?
I started playing hockey when I was in the sixth standard. I was in Khalsa Academy school in Amritsar and at that time my coach was Baljinder Singh. My school was very much focused on hockey, hence I decided to play hockey and my family supported my decision from the very first day. Later, I got selected to Surjit Hockey Academy in Jalandhar and in 2011, I got selected for the Indian junior hockey team, which was the beginning of my international career.
In 2015, you failed a random dope test during the Hockey India League (HIL) due to which you were banned for two years. How did you keep yourself motivated during that phase of your life and who was your biggest strength in the tough time?
It was the most difficult phase of my career. For a player, getting banned from playing for two years is a big setback. But, I would like to thank my family, God who gave me enough strength to face such a tough time. And my family stood beside me during those difficult two years. They were my strength then and they still are my biggest strength.
Were you sure of making a comeback to the Indian team after the ban?
At one point in life, I almost gave up any hope of playing for India again because two years gap is a big deal. I was told to practice alone, and I wasn’t allowed to play any matches, so it was very difficult for me to cope with all that stuff, but my family made me believe that everything is possible and I have to just trust my abilities and hard work. Those two years were like 20 years for me and I overcame that tough time because of my family and the blessings of God. Even the silver medal that I have won is for my family.
Also, I would like to add that SportsApp also helped me during this period. They are doing wonderful work, not just for me but for many other players as well. I hope they keep on supporting players, even financially and promote them.
Who has been your idol?
My father is my idol and the biggest inspiration for me. I look up to him and even aim to become like him someday in my life.
What’s your ultimate aim?
We have some important events lined up like the Asian Games and World Cup in 2023 and then the Paris Olympics in 2024, so I am focussing on one step at a time and my aim is to win medals for my country in all the competitions. Also, the Indian team won bronze in the last Olympics, so now as a team, we aim to win gold in 2024.
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