India’s men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh has targeted winning the gold medal in the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games so that the country can earn automatic qualification for the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Singh said it was time to stop basking in the glory of the historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Games and start focusing on the Paris 2024 Olympics by winning next year’s Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
“At the last Asian Games in 2018 we ended up with a bronze and lost out on winning automatic qualification. We were lucky to have the FIH Olympic qualifying matches in India. But we can’t depend on that again,” the Indian skipper told The Hindu newspaper.
“The best would be for us to qualify by winning the Asian Games so it gives us the right amount of time to prepare for the 2024 Olympics.”
The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games will be held from September 10 to 25 next year. If India wins gold at the continental tournament, they gain an automatic berth for Paris 2024.
It’s been a month since the Indian men’s team beat Germany 5-4 in the third-place playoff at the Tokyo Olympics. The bronze medal ended a 41-year-old medal drought at the Olympics.
“We have enjoyed all the felicitations. The honour and accolades we received has been overwhelming but now we must start thinking about how to better ourselves for the 2022 calendar,” Singh added.