Indian hockey's worst performance ever: Olympic gold medallists

Indo Asian News Service

Kolkata, Aug 10 (IANS) "The worst ever performance" is how former Olympic gold medallists described the Indian hockey team's disastrous campaign at the London Games.

"This is surely the worst ever performance. They have been outplayed in every department. The team never looked like they are playing at the Olympics," Olympian Zafar Iqbal told IANS.

Iqbal, a member of the hockey team that won the last Olympic gold medal for India in 1980 at the Moscow Games, in a scathing attack called the team "mediocre" and said the country has stopped producing talented players.

"After losing all their league matches they are staring at the worst-ever finish. I have no complaints either against the selectors or the coach. It seems the country has stopped producing quality players," said the former chief national coach.

Losing all their group matches, India play South Africa Saturday in the playoff to decide the last two spots.

Vasudevan Baskaran, who captained the 1980 gold medallist team, said the present team lacked camaraderie and players failed to pick themselves up.

"The team looked off-colour from the very first match. There was lack of camaraderie and failed to play according to the plan, if they had one," said Baskaran.

The former national coach, before the start of the Games, had hoped for a sterling performance from medio Sardara Singh and drag flicker Sandeep Singh.

"I have no words to describe their performance. There was no rhythm between the players either in the mid-field or while taking penalty corners. I am pained to say but this surely it is the worst ever performance."

"I had hoped that they will bounce back after the first loss, but with every match their performance plummeted. They badly failed to pick themselves up and fight back," added Baskaran.