The Indian Olympic Association might be planning to keep the Indian hockey team out of next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as they are too close to the Asian Games but star goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh feels that the CWG will offer the country good competition before the continental event.
“If you are able to play a couple of matches before big events it is really good. We always consider the Commonwealth Games as one of the major events, that’s the platform where we can get good competition playing against Australia, New Zealand and England. Which is really good for us but if IOA is taking a decision, definitely there will be a reason behind that,” said the Tokyo Olympics bronze-winning Indian hockey goalkeeper, in reply to a question from Sportstar, during a media interaction organised by the Ernakulam Press Club here on Wednesday.
“If they decide that, then definitely we will obey it. Being a member of the national hockey team, my decision always stays with my association’s decision and the IOA’s.”
One of his big goals now is to win a World Cup medal.
“I have all the medals in hockey but am missing a World Cup medal. And we are hosting the 2023 World Cup in Odisha so that is going to be our prime target. Before that, we need to face the Commonwealth Games (July 28-Aug 8) and Asian Games (Sept 10-25). The Asiad is one of our biggest platforms because we will be getting a direct ticket to the Paris Olympics,” said the 33-year-old.
So, does he think he can stretch his career till the 2024 Olympics?
“If I want I can stretch it but nobody can see what is going to happen tomorrow. If there is no injury, if there are no form issues definitely, I can stretch till that but at my age, I think it is good for me to keep a short target rather than worrying about what is going to happen in three years.
“It is good for me to think of another one year so that I will have a clean aim in front of me, thinking that I need to play the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games which are really important and then the World Cup. Then, I will analyse the situation and if the performance is good and if the team feels I’m going good, definitely I can stretch (till Paris 2024).”