The Indian women’s hockey team has learnt to bounce back from losses, said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, adding that the defeat to Argentina in the Olympic semifinal is history as the side focuses on claiming a historic bronze.
A brave Indian women’s hockey team put up a gritty performance but it was not enough to secure a maiden Olympic final berth as it lost 1-2 to world no.2 Argentina in a hard-fought semi-final on Wednesday.
India still have a chance to win the bronze medal as they will take on Great Britain in the third-fourth place play-off match on Friday.
“We came here to win a medal and still there’s one (available). It’s now about recovery, about the mindset. The good thing is, it’s not always good that we lost a lot in the past but we also have learnt to deal with the losses,” Marijne said after the match.
“So it’s okay, what can we improve on from this match.”
The Dutchman feels India failed to grab their opportunities against Argentina, which eventually made the difference.
“In these matches, it is about taking your opportunities. Argentina did that better than us. With the PC, the injection was not always perfect, the trapping was not good and then you can’t play exactly the PC you want,” he said.
“I can’t be angry with the girls or be mad because we don’t play these kind of matches so much. It’s a whole new experience and you also have to learn how to play these matches. It’s all about taking your opportunities.
“The intensity we showed in the last quarter, that was really good.”
India captain Rani Rampal agreed with Marijne’s observations and said the competition is not yet over for the Indians.
“We are disappointed because we lost. We fought so hard against Argentina. They converted their chances and we also got PCs (penalty corners) but we only converted one,” she said.
“In the third and fourth quarter the energy was different to the first two quarters, it was not as high. We’ll learn from this because we have one more game to play.
“The tournament is not over yet. We still have a chance to win a bronze medal. An Olympic medal is a medal. If you win gold that is nice but still bronze is a medal, so we will fight for that medal and we will focus on the next match.”
The coach feels the achievements of the 18 Indian players here will change the face of women’s hockey in the country.
“I think a lot because now women’s hockey is also taken seriously.
“It’s going crazy. They’re so proud of the girls and the whole nation is behind the girls whatever happens now. I don’t think you can create something more beautiful than that,” Marijne said.
Dragflicker Gurjit Kaur, who gave India the lead in the second minute against Argentina, is looking to learn from her mistakes from the game ahead of the bronze medal tie.
“We’ve learned a lot from this game and we will continue to learn after watching the videos and working on our mistakes,” she said.
“A semi-final is a high-pressure match and both the teams are under pressure to deliver a goal. It could have been a draw, it could have been a loss. We had a lot of chances (but) we didn’t convert a lot of the chances.
“But we hope to apply the learnings from this match in the next match and continue to work towards the bronze.”
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