TOKYO (SID) – German hockey teams are also among medal contenders at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and are looking to strike again after two bronze medals in Rio. “We want a medal,” said national player Timur Oruz which is the path to be followed. Men around national coach Kais Al Saadi had recently won four consecutive Olympic medals, including gold in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
“The boys are reasonably accustomed. We are as prepared as anyone can be,” Al Saadi told a SID conversation ahead of the opening game against Canada in the open on Saturday (12 noon/CEST) I assured. The coach is confident that his team will be able to play the precious metals, “a firm belief since the European Championships that they will win important games against stronger teams”.
At the European Championships in early June, “Honamas” only had to lose to the Netherlands in a penalty shootout in the final. It would be “a good scramble”, with seven to eight teams having a medal as their goal, these “won’t clear the podium on their own,” insisted Al Saadi, who took over in November 2019.
Under Al Saadi, men almost returned to their old strength, and women around Belgium coach Javier Reckinger may also dream of medals. “I have this just a great group,” Reckinger told SID. “A lot is possible. We can beat everyone, and we have to improve game by game.”
The absolute top favorite among women is the world and European champions the Netherlands, who narrowly won against “Dans” in the European Championship final. “It’s all very tight, so it will depend on the details,” Recinger said.
In the opening game on Sunday (2.30 a.m. / CEST), the German women will take on Olympic champions Great Britain, who, however, made a difference after a win in Rio. “The Netherlands, Great Britain and we will fight for the top three of the group. Who we meet in the quarter-finals doesn’t matter,” said the coach, as the level of the second group was the same.
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