The chapter is closed for me, says Rajpal
After creating ripples by threatening to pull out from the Olympic qualifiers and then making a sudden U-turn, India's ace winger Rajpal Singh says the chapter is now closed and he is focussed for the upcoming assignment in Chile.
Earlier this week, Rajpal stirred the hornet's nest by announcing that he would not compromise with his self-respect and would not accompany the Indian team for the Olympic qualifiers in Chile.
However, after an apparent intervention by the Indian Hockey Federation top bosses, Rajpal reneged from his stance the next day and denied any rift with coach Joquim Carvalho.
Rajpal, who returned home with the Indian team after a fortnight long competition-cum-training camp in Perth, said he has now got over that unpleasant episode during the stint in Australia and is looking forward to give his best in Chile.
"Now the chapter is closed for me. The whole team and the country is looking forward to the Olympic qualifiers and I am also focussed for it," he told PTI today.
Rajpal denied that the controversy had affected him in anyway and would not have any bearing on his performance.
"If such small things start affecting a player, then he cannot do anything. It has not upset me in anyway and I am in my elements," he said.
A key component of India's forwardline, Rajpal said he was in top form and was raring to go.
"I am in good form, in fact the whole team is in good form. We have to give more than 100 percent in Chile and we will do that.
"The camp was good. We played back-to-back matches which was always good. We are having good preparations for the qualifiers," he said.
Asserting that they will come back triumphant from Santiago, Rajpal said they should be able to overcome England, the main hurdle in India's way to book a berth for the Beijing Olympics.
"There is no silver in the tournament. So we will comeback with the gold," he said.
The players will take a short break before re-assembling for the last leg of their preparatory camp in Bangalore on February 20. They will leave for Chile on February 25 to take part in the Olympic qualifiers.