The Indian men’s hockey team would be a strong medal contender in the Olympic Games thanks to the self-belief it has acquired over the past decade by raising its game against top teams, feels former forward Tushar Khandekar. The Olympics is scheduled to open on July 23 in Tokyo.

“I feel the way the team (Indian men) is doing right now; they are a strong contender to finish on the podium,” Tushar said on ‘Hockey Te Charcha’, a podcast series initiated by HI ahead of the Games.

He said players understand what small mistakes can do in big-ticket events such as the Olympics. The Indian team has been in impressive form during its tours of Australia and Europe in the past few months.

“We have learnt from each other in the Olympic Games. While we did not qualify in 2008, we finished 12th in London and 8th in Rio. We learnt from the mistakes we made in 2012,” he said.

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