'Azlan Shah triumph a morale booster for Indian hockey' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Azlan Shah triumph a morale booster for Indian hockey'

india Updated: Apr 12, 2009 21:49 IST

Former hockey Olympians on Sunday hailed India's fourth Azlan Shah title triumph that came after a span of 13 years, saying the win will provide the national team with the much-needed boost ahead of future international assignments.

India, who finished runners-up in the event last year losing to Argentina, on Sunday defeated hosts Malaysia 3-1 in the finals of the five-nation event in Ipoh, Malaysia to lift the Azlan Shah title for the first time since 1995.

Former India international and junior team coach AK Bansal said the eight-time Olympic champions desperately needed the victory to bring the game back on track.

"The win was very important. It is a significant achievement by the team and will help them in preparations for future tournaments. It is a morale booster for players," Bansal told PTI.

He added that although the competition this year was not of high standard, yet the win means a lot to the former champions who missed the Beijing Olympics last year.

"It's right, contenders were not so tough in the tournament, but all the teams were of equal strength. But to be fair, it has great significance as you can never assess a team's performance on artificial turf."