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Gold medal winning Indian men’s hockey team returns home to rousing welcome

New Delhi, Oct. 5 (ANI): Indian men’s hockey team, which won the gold medal at the 17th Asian Games after defeating Pakistan, received a grand welcome upon its arrival in New Delhi on Sunday.

A group of traditional dancers performed to the beats of drums to welcome the proud team.

The Indian players defeated Pakistan 4-2 to win gold after a gap of 16 years.

“It is very proud moment for the team. The players worked really hard. The team has achieved its target that it was aiming for the past seven to eight months,” team’s captain, Sardar Singh, told mediapersons.

India, which last won the gold in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, has also bagged direct entry to 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after it beat Pakistan in shoot out at the Games in Incheon in South Korea.

However, team’s coach, Terry Walsh, cautioned the players to continue working hard.

“Qualifying for Olympics is a very good thing. 23 months, if we do it the right way. It is a very bad thing if we do the wrong way. So we have to make sure that we are very-very aware what we need to do still, to bringing our best performance come the Olympic Games in 23 months,” said Walsh.

Once the world leader in hockey, India faced hard times in the recent years, prompting the country to hire former Australian international player Walsh to turn things around.

India won a total of 57 medals at the 17th Asiad, which includes 11 gold, 10 silver and 36 bronze.

India’s position is eighth in the overall medals tally. (ANI)