Rio de Janeiro:
Indian men’s hockey team led by goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra has checked into the Olympic Village ahead of the Rio Games starting August 5.
Led by captain, Sreejesh the team includes the stalwart, Sardar Singh, VR Raghunath and Rupinder Pal among the team. The hockey team settled into the building, where the Indian team is housed and immediately got around to meet their colleagues from other sports.
Also arriving in the early hours today was Bindra, the only Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympics. He won a gold in 2008 Games in Beijing.
Receiving them at the Housing Complex in the Olympic Village was Rakesh Gupta, the chef de mission of Indian contingent and his administrative staff.
Hockey team’s chief coach Roelant Oltmans did the formalities and got the rooms quickly before retiring to catch some much-needed rest. “The hockey team arrived from Spain and have settled into their rooms in the Village,” said Gupta.
“Also the arrival of Abhinav Bindra means we are steadily getting to our full numbers and there is a lot of camaraderie between the athletes from various disciplines. For many of the newcomers it is a new experience of coming to Olympic Games and interacting with members of other sports,” he added.
Later this morning, under the watchful eyes of coach Oltmans, the team had a light workout and had a session in the swimming pool attached to the building.
Full of enthusiasm and hopes the team had a quick session and soon will start their on-field training. The Indian team is currently ranked fifth in the world and is hopeful of a qualifying for the semi-finals.