India has fair chance of winning Olympics gold: Baskaran

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Tiruchirapalli, Jan 11 (UNI) Former Indian hockey captain and coach Vasudevan Baskaran today said the chances of India winning the gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics are bright.

Talking to newspersons here, Mr Baskaran said the recent victory in the Asia Cup would act as a morale-booster to our players and the experience gained by the team in the International event, would benefit them in the Olympic qualifying round matches.

Mr Baskaran,who had earlier participated in the sports-day celebrations and distributing the prizes to the winners at the Indira Gandhi College for women here, said India would perform well in the Olympic qualifying rounds. The pre-Olympic coaching camp had commenced at Bangalore yesterday and would last till January 21.

He said we should improve our position in the overall-rankings from sixth to fourth place out of 117 countries.

Mr Baskaran said coaches appointed for all the sports, especially hockey should be allowed to continue for a minimum of five years.

Only this would enable them to mould the teams in the right perspective and devise a clear-cut strategy to make use of the players' skill, speed and energy in a phased manner.

''Unfortunately, in India, we replace a coach after a defeat, without analysing the pros and cons of the situation'', he observed.

He said victory and defeat were part of the game. ''We should learn to accept bouquets and brickbats in the right spirit and treat them on equal-footing. We should analyse the reason for defeats and should go for introspection to avoid dishing out lame excuses in future'', he added.

Mr Baskaran said efforts should be made to bolster the morale of the players. It is imperative that hockey, once the national game, was developed at the national and international level, he added.

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