Mandeep Singh (Photo/Mandeep Singh-Twitter)
Mandeep Singh (Photo/Mandeep Singh-Twitter)

We trusted and backed each other to win 2016 Jr WC, says Oly medallist Mandeep

ANI | Updated: Nov 12, 2021 18:02 IST

New Delhi [India], November 12 (ANI): India's 2016 World Cup-winning star and Olympic Bronze medallist Mandeep Singh on Friday stated the entire team worked as a single unit to lift the 2016 Junior World Cup.
"It's a big achievement to win the World Cup in India, and we have another chance to repeat it. In 2013, we faced a lot of criticism from people as we missed the opportunity to win the Junior World Cup on home soil and even lost to Pakistan, so in 2016, we had a point to prove with an advantage of playing at home," said Mandeep in an official Hockey India release.
"Our only aim was the podium finish, there was no senior-junior difference in the team, we switched off from our social media, and played as a unit. We trusted each other and backed each other like a family, so that's how we won the Junior World Cup in 2016," he added.

Emphasizing on the team camaraderie, Mandeep stated that it was the teammate's support that helped him recover from his injury, which he picked up just two months before the 2016 Junior World Cup.
"Just two months prior to the Junior World Cup, I suffered a hamstring injury and missed out on the Australia tour. The doctor told us that, it will take three months to recover from this, and I got very upset about it, I got scared whether I'll be able to play in the Junior World Cup or not. But, I was very lucky that I had great support from my teammates, they backed me, they kept motivating me by saying that I will play, and because of that, I could recover for the Junior World Cup," he said.
When asked about his best memories from the 2016 World Cup, the Jalandhar-born player recalled, "During the semi-final match against Australia, when their full-back tried to scoop, I defended it in the air, and with the support of Nilakanta, I scored the goal, and we entered the final. From there, I felt like this is the moment, I realised I have to play well and help the team win the final at any cost, no pain can stop me, so I can say these were some of my best memories from 2016 World Cup."
The mega event of FIH Odisha Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar is slated to begin on November 24 with Vivek Sagar Prasad, who was part of India's historic Olympic bronze medal feat, captaining the squad. (ANI)