Hockey at the Olympics

Hockey at the Olympics


Hockey at the Olympics
Hockey at the Olympics

Hockey at the Olympics: Jude Menezes, Indian Bryan behind Japan’s stellar performance against Germany

Ranchi, Jan 14 (IANS) While a Dutch woman is guiding the Indian women’s hockey team at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Ranchi, an Indian is behind Japan’s success here.


Former India men’s team goalkeeper Jude Menezes, who represented the country at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and settled in New Zealand in 2002, was in charge of Japan’s 1-1 draw with Germany in a crucial league match in Marang. There was strategic skill behind it.


Gomke Jaipal Singh Astro Turf Hockey Stadium on Sunday.


Japan withstood tremendous pressure from Germany in the first half, getting back in their half and defending brilliantly before going on the afterburner as they put Germany in their half and created several chances. He equalized through a penalty corner and almost scored the winner before the Germans made a gritty save.


On Sunday, Menezes credited his forwards and midfielders for their tireless efforts in defense, which helped them thwart German attacks.


Menezes said after the match, “The Opur defense started with our press, so did our forwards, the amount of running they did, all the defending from the first line, and I would give credit to the whole team for the job they did.”


“But the forwards, the midfielders ran a lot and the defense got clean bowled in the end. So it’s a collective effort,” he said.


Mumbai-born Menezes, who said he never thought he would go to Japan for his first role as a national team head coach, moved to New Zealand in 2002 and worked full-time in the health and fitness industry. , He also coached hockey teams and has been a full-time hockey coach since 2014. He was the goalkeeper coach of the New Zealand women’s team from 2015 to 2018 and was also the assistant coach of the New Zealand men’s under-21 team and the senior national team.


Very pleased with Sunday’s result, 52-year-old Menezes, who took over as head coach of the Japan women’s team in November 2021, said it was a big point for his team to snatch from Germany.


“It’s a big issue, you know, so now the next game (against Chile in the four-team Pool A) is a knockout for us. So we’ll take it that way. And yes, it’s a big result for us. We are there in terms of confidence too. To be able to draw with the world No. 5, I think it’s a big result for us. To be able to draw with the world No. 5, I think it’s a big result for us. A big result,” Menezes said.


Menezes said he can make late changes in strategy because he knows his players are extremely fit and can maintain that pace.


“I know the potential of our team because we are very fit. We test ourselves and I know our scores on the yo-yo test are very high. So I know that after falling behind by a goal we will step up to another gear. Something had to be done. So we changed the intensity and we became more aggressive. So when we equalized, I didn’t want to change the momentum, I wanted to keep that momentum going. So I kept pressing and being aggressive. “Kept happening,” Menezes said.


Tokyo Olympic Games


Menezes said qualifying for the Paris Olympic Games would be a huge boost for Japan’s hockey program. Japan played as host in the Tokyo Olympic Games. They won the Asian Games in 2018 but played it with an open mind as they were already assured of their place.


Meneses said, “It will be huge for our program. It’s huge for the future of hockey in Japan, so it’s really important that we qualify and if we are successful at the Olympic Games it will help hockey in Japan.” will get a huge boost.”



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