After a heartbreaking defeat in the Olympic bronze medal match, the Indian women's hockey team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne surprised everyone by announcing his resignation. However, he asked his players to hold back tears and cherish the reality that they have inspired the nation with their spectacular performance.
Announcing his resignation, Marijne said that the bronze medal playoff against Great Britain was his last responsibility towards his team. The Indian women's hockey team lost out to Great Britain 3-4 in the bronze medal playoff match in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Friday. The team has lived their dream run in Tokyo by reaching the semi-finals and ending their journey at the fourth spot.
"Listen, I can't take away your tears. No words will help for that. We didn't win the medal, but I think we achieved something bigger, and it's inspiring a country and make the country proud," he said.
"…I think the world have seen another Indian team, and I'm really proud of that," he said, adding that the team showed immense fighting spirit throughout the whole journey.
'Want To Spend More Time With Family'
Marijne, who took charge four years ago, said that he made the decision in order to spend more time with his family. "I will miss the girls of the hockey team a lot, but I miss my family more. After being away for three and a half years, I want to be with my son, daughter, and wife. This is a beautiful way to end this journey," he said, as quoted by Business Standard.
The Indian women's hockey team has reached heights since Marijne's appointment. In the 2016 Rio Olympics, they finished 12th for the first time since 1980. The team also reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2018 before reaching the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics.
According to sources, both Marijne and the team's analytical coach Janneka Schopman were offered tenure extension by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), but the head coach rejected the offer citing personal reasons.