Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tokyo Olympics Hockey: Great Britain must use defeat as ‘springboard’

A dejected Great Britain men’s captain Adam Dixon spoke of a “somewhat-successful Olympic campaign” in his final match after India toppled Team GB at the quarter-final stages on Sunday.

Looking at the world rankings he may have been right. Danny Kerry’s side had taken one step on from Rio’s ninth place by advancing to the last eight, but came up against a committed world No.3 side in India who used guile and, ultimately, speed to put GB on the plane home after a 3-1 defeat.

In these pandemic-ridden Games, GB had shown signs of progression from the Euros – the Germany defeat aside in the Pool stages – and looked to be a side taking in and enjoying the fact that a global competition was taking place. They remained on social media, as opposed to their GB women counterparts, while there were signs, in their 2-2 draw with Belgium, that they could remain a threat for a medal in Tokyo.

But another Bisham Abbey debrief will now ensue as a raft of players set about retirement, while others depart for the continent next season, including Alan Forsyth, who along with Harry Martin were perhaps mystifyingly not called upon. Meanwhile, the future of coach Kerry also remains unknown after a long tenure in the women’s and men’s game at performance level.

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