Having missed the Birmingham Commonwealth Games hockey final against Australia due to a knee injury, India midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad says he has recovered and is looking forward to joining his teammates for the preparatory camp for the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 to be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela in January next year.
The national camp will commence on August 29 here and Prasad hoped the team’s support staff will assess his recovery and plan the workload accordingly.
The team had suffered a huge setback ahead of the CWG with the young player, who till then was the livewire in the midfield, was ruled out of the gold-medal match due to the knee injury. In Prasad’s absence, Australia thrashed India 7-0 to clinch gold in Birmingham.
“It was just a minor injury. Having rested well over the past weeks, I am eager to join my teammates in the camp and begin our preparations for the World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela in January. I am sure the team’s support staff will assess my recovery once I join the camp basis which they will plan my workload," said Prasad.
On how it felt missing the final against Australia, Prasad added, “It was disappointing to not play the final of the CWG. I was devastated. Making the final of such a prestigious tournament is a big deal for any player. Having played a good campaign to reach the final and then being ruled out of the summit clash due to injury was devastating for me," he said.
“I really wanted to be there for my team on that particular day. However, this happens in sports. So, the only thing we can do now is to move on."
This was Prasad’s second outing at the Commonwealth Games. In 2018, at the Gold Coast CWG, he was the youngest player of the squad. While it was an exciting outing for him as a 17-year-old, the team returned home without a medal.
“The CWG in 2018 was my first experience of a multi-discipline sporting event. I was quite young and really excited. But it was a disappointing outing for us as a team. This time, we were sure of a good show but again, things did not go as planned in the final," he said.