Warhorse Indian hockey goalkeeper P R Sreejesh has expressed his desire to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics. However, Sreejesh reckons that his participation in the mega event will depend solely on his fitness and performance over the next two years.
The Indian men's hockey team won a bronze medal in Tokyo after defeating Germany 5-4 in the Bronze medal play-off match on August 5.
Sreejesh hopes to continue playing for Indian till 2024 Paris Olympics
Several veteran hockey stars, including the likes of Rupinder Pal Singh, Birendra Lakra and SV Sunil, recently hung up their boots after a successful campaign at the Tokyo Games. However, Sreejesh hopes to continue playing for India until the 2024 Paris Olympics.
When he was asked about the same, he said that every player is greedy and will never be averse to Olympic participation.
PR Sreejesh, while talking to the media, said:
"No player will say no to an Olympics, we are greedy people. The motivation will always be to work hard and give my best. "I have had a career of 21 years. So I will always want to play one more match, one more Olympics so as long as my team members don''t kick me out, I will stay in the team for sure," said Sreejesh.
Sreejesh also avouched during the interaction that a sportsperson's life is very uncertain.
"But nothing is certain in a sportsperson's life. There can be an injury, performance can go down, others can do better than me," said Sreejesh.
The 33-year-old Sreejesh was bestowed with the best goalkeeper (men's) award at the FIH annual awards for his outstanding performance in India's historic bronze medal-winning feat at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
"The motivation will always be there to change the colour of the medal in Paris. But the road is not easy. We had won a medal 41 years ago and after that Indians sent us to Olympics with a lot of expectations," said Sreejesh.
Skipper Manpreet Singh also backed the veteran goalkeeper to travel to the French capital with the team when posed a question regarding his availability for the Paris Games. Manpreet added that his senior pro has bettered like an old wine that keeps getting better with time.
"He is going to Paris from our side. Sreejesh is the best goal keeper, so we would want him to be there at the goal. We have the confidence in him but the rest depends on his fitness and other things," said Manpreet.
Sreejesh backs both men's and women's hockey teams for a podium finish at the 2024 Paris Olympics
While the men's team brought laurels to the country by winning a medal in the sport after a long time, the women's team missed out on the medal by a whisker, finishing fourth at the quadrennial event.
Sreejesh, who was a part of the historic win, expressed his confidence in the hockey squad.
"The women's team was unlucky to miss out this time but definitely I am confident that both teams will finish at the Podium in Paris," said Sreejesh.