Sjoerd Marijne had mixed emotions after India’s silver-winning show in the Asian Games women’s hockey final. Silver won or gold lost, he was asked.
“Today, it is gold lost but tomorrow, when we look back, it could be silver won,” said India’s coach.
“That is the mentality we have, we always want to win, we believe in ourselves. That is why we are disappointed. If we are really happy with silver now, I don’t think it is a good mindset. If you are really close to your goal, you want to win it,” he said.
Missing out on direct Olympic qualification spot was Marijne’s biggest regret. “Now you have to play six or seven matches to qualify instead of this one match. That is the biggest disappointment. We were very close,” he said.
The Dutchman rued the chances India missed, in that context. “A draw would have been a fair result. However, in the end, they scored more than us, that is the game all about. We created enough chances but the chances you get, you have to convert it. We didn’t score the goals and Japan did, that was the only difference.”
Marijne acknowledged Japan had played a smart game in the final minutes, almost freezing the ball in the Indian half, but he also looked at the positives. “There are a lot of positives. You look at the way we played against tough teams — against Korea, against China. We have improved our ranking from 12 to nine. We did well in the World Cup. Overall, in defending, we are really, really strong, almost not giving anything away,” he said, and stressed that the players needed rest now.
“It has been a long season, some of them have injuries. They need at least a month to recover before we prepare for future tournaments,” he said.