WSH announces Rs 2 crore award for Indian Hockey Team if they win gold in London Olympics

Mumbai: World Series Hockey (WSH) has announced a prize money of Rs 2 crore for the Indian team if they win gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Incase they win a silver, the team will get Rs 1 crore while for bagging a bronze WSH will award them with Rs 50 lakhs. If Indian team qualifies for the 2012 Olympics, Rs 5 lakh will be given to every WSH player in the Indian Team.

Wishing the very best for the Olympic qualifiers, WSH said they were confident that the Indian National Hockey Team will come out with flying colours at the Olympics Qualifying Tournaments.

Before India’s first match against Singapore in the Men’s Qualifiers, Yannick Colaco, COO Nimbus Sport said, “The legacy of Indian hockey at the Olympics is unmatched with the national team winning 11 medals, including 8 gold medals. WSH is committed to promote hockey and hence has launched an incentive campaign – Strive For Gold to motivate the Indian team to play their best. Our current Indian team has tremendous potential and WSH wishes them the very best for their Olympic campaign” 

There has been an overwhelming response from former Olympians and current players for WSH’s ‘Strive for Gold’ campaign for the Indian team. The legendary Dhanraj Pillay said, “Every Indian has a junoon (passion) for hockey, especially for the Olympics. Our current Indian team is a dark horse for the Games.  I join millions of Indian hockey fans in wishing the team best of luck for the Qualifiers.”

Gagan Ajit Singh, who led India to its maiden Junior World Cup title in 2001, said, “Hockey is one sport where we are recognized at the Olympics. This time, the men’s team is capable of reaching the pinnacle.  As Indians we need to come together and support the national hockey team for the Qualifers.”

Vasudevan Bhaskaran, who led India to its last Olympic gold in 1980 said he was confident that India will win the Qualifiers and aim for a podium finish in London. “This Indian team has the potential to win a medal at the Games.  The world still fears India as a top contender in hockey.  We need to strike a rhythm at the outset from the Qualifiers itself,” said Bhaskaran.

Former Indian coach Harendra Singh said, “The current players in the Indian team are amongst the best talent in the world today.  I am confident they will restore our glorious position in the sport.”

Former Indian captain and gold-medalist at the Asia Cup, Viren Rasquinha said, “Today, the Indian public is more aware than before about performing in different sports at the highest level. Indian hockey has always struck an emotional chord with hockey fans all over the world. This time, we hope to regain our pride at the London Games. I wish all my former team-mates best of luck for the Qualifiers.”

The WSH will be held from February 29th to April 2nd, 2012 and will involve 200 leading players -- Indian and international -- who will showcase their talent in 59 matches.

The 8 venues for the inaugural edition of the league are Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Jalandhar, Mumbai and Pune.