No realistic hope of Olympic medal in hockey: Viren Rasquinha

first_imgMumbai, Jun 16 (PTI) While praising the Indian men hockey teams progress under the guidance of coach Roelant Oltmans, former international Viren Rasquinha did not hold out a realistic chance for the country to climb the medals podium at the upcoming Rio Olympics. “We have to take one step at a time. In Beijing (2008 Olympics) India did not qualify and we were 12th (and last) in London (Olympics in 2012). From there to go and win a medal is unrealistic. Our first aim should be to qualify for the quarterfinals,” he said. Rasquinha was speaking at a panel discussion after being named by Star Sports network as one of its commentators during its coverage of the August 5-21 Games. The 35-year-old former player, who represented the country at the Athens Games in 2004, said Australia were the favourites for the gold, while India can nurture hopes of getting past all other teams on its current form. “The first priority for the Indian squad would be to make it to the quarter-finals (under the changed format for the tournament). Australia are undoubtedly the favourites. But take away Australia and we have a chance against all other teams. “All are within our range. If we meet any of those countries in the quarters I would have hopes (for India) but if we meet Australia I dont have hopes as our record is not good. The no 1 priority is to qualify (for quarters) and no 2 is to avoid Australia (in quarters),” said Rasquinha. The ex-international has been roped in as an expert commentator by the channel along with Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe, Indian shuttle ace Prakash Padukone, former shooting champion Anjali Bhagwat and Olympic swimmer Rehan Poncha. Rasquinha was all praise for Oeltmans and said he, for one, is not surprised at the improvement in the Indian team under the Dutchman.advertisement”Oeltmans is doing a fantastic job. He has built a fine team ethics. Everyone comes back to help the defence. There has been effective rolling substitution because of which India is playing at a very high intensity that has surprised many. But but I have not been surprised,” he said. (More) PTI SSR RSY AH AHlast_img read more

Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele remains suspended over missed training

first_imgBorussia Dortmund have extended the suspension of talented forward Ousmane Dembele indefinitely after the 20-year-old France international skipped training last week amid speculation of a possible move to Barcelona.The Bundesliga club said on Sunday it would keep Dembele’s ban for missing training in place after the player was told he was initially suspended until after Saturday’s first round German Cup tie against amateurs Rielasingen-Arlen.”Our focus now is to have a concentrated preparation for the start of the Bundesliga (next week),” Dortmund sports director Michael Zorc said in a statement.”Obviously Ousmane Dembele has the opportunity to do individual training separate from the team.”Dembele is seen as a potential successor to Neymar at Barcelona, after the Brazilian’s record 222 million euro ($262.32 million) move to Paris St Germain earlier this month.An initial Barca offer was rejected by Dortmund with club bosses saying it was too low.German media have estimated the price of a move at more than 100 million euros.Dembele joined Dortmund, who will compete in the Champions League group stage, from French side Rennes on a five-year deal in 2016.($1 = 0.8463 euros)last_img read more