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Rupinder in Indian squad for Olympics qualifiers

Back in 2008, when the Indian hockey team lost the Beijing Olympics qualifiers, a young Rupinder Pal Singh was making his presence felt in the junior circuit. The Indian team failed to qualify for the first time for Olympics and on Monday, as the lanky Indian forward was named in the Indian team for Olympics qualifiers to be played in New Delhi from February 18, the Chandigarh lad is hoping to help India qualify. With former skipper Rajpal and youngster Dharamvir Singh not in the team,Singh is the only Chandigarh player in Indian team

“It was disheartening for all of us when we failed to qualify. But things like that happen and a lot has happened since then. I played a lot at junior level during that time and this is a great opportunity to represent India in the Olympic qualifiers. We would want to erase the memories of last time and I hope we will have the home advantage this time too. The team has been practicing at the national camp and we are ready for the qualifiers,” shared Rupinder while speaking with Newsline.

The lanky defender made his senior debut during the 2010 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia before being a regular member in the indian team. Singh was also in the Indian team,which won the Asian Champions Challenge at Ordos,China in September last year. He made his junior debut in Singapore Challenge Cup before playing in Malaysia 8-nations Cup.

“The junior tournaments in Singapore and Malaysia gave me a chance to play against some of the best teams in Asia. We played in Argentina after the Malaysian tour and it was motivating for a youngster like me. Playing in the senior circuit is different from junior days,but I always remember the basics which I learnt at Chandigarh Football and Hockey Academy. The late Jasbir Singh Bajwa helped all of us a lot and he made us work hard. Chandigarh senior players have always helped me,” said Singh who studied at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 42 (GMSSS-42) and later GMSSS-35.

With Australian coach Michael Nobbs in charge of the Indian hockey team,Singh believes that the team has learnt a lot and players are working hard to make India qualify.

“We all want that to happen. I could not play in series against South Africa due to injury but I played in the later part of series. We have defeated the teams in qualifiers before and it will be a tough challenge. Coach Nobbs always encourage youngsters and we have learnt a lot from him,” said Singh who is currently an officer with Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) and posted in Chennai.

When not on the job, he stays in Chandigarh.

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Posted by on Feb 1 2012. Filed under Sports News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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