Chief coach of the Indian hockey team Roelant Oltmans feels that a medal finish in Rio is not completely out reach, given the side puts up its best when it matters.
Eight-time gold medallists India finished last among 12 teams in the London Olympics four years ago. "The question is will you be able to to show your best hockey at the right moment and the answer is if we do so we are a medal contender. Every team in the world wants to win a medal at the Olympics. For us it's the same but we have to make improvement to make that happen. I always go step by step, so the first thing for me is having a good pool phase and qualifying for the quarterfinals. From there on we need to win only three more matches," the Dutchman said.
India are clubbed alongside defending champions Germany, European champions Netherlands, Pan-American Games winners Argentina, Ireland and Canada in a relatively tough Pool B in the Rio Olympics, while Pool A consists of world champions Australia, Belgium, hosts Brazil, Great Britain, New Zealand and Spain. The top four teams from each pool will progress to the quarterfinals.
Oltmans, who is also the High Performance Director of Indian hockey, hinted that they might go in with one goalkeeper in PR Sreejesh. "It's subject to discussion but normally most of the teams will bring in one goalkeeper in their 16-member squad and there will be two players in the reserves which will include one goalkeeper. "