New Delhi: It could well have been an icing on the cake had his 'London Dream' not turned into a nightmare and for star hockey player Sardar Singh, being nominated for the Arjuna award now only remains a mere consolation.

"It obviously feels good when you get recognition for your hard work. I am happy that the government has considered me for the Arjuna award but to some extent the sheen of the recognition has lost," Sardar said.

"Somewhere down the line I am upset, there is disappointment. It would have been double joy for me had we performed well in the Olympics," he insisted.

Indian hockey touched a new low in the just-concluded London Olympics, in which the eight-time champions finished last in the 12-team men's competition.

"We played well in all matches but didn't capitalise on our chances, and once we started losing the morale of the team went down," Sardar explained.

"On behalf of the entire team I say sorry to the hockey lovers of the country."

The failure, however, has made Sardar more wiser, whose only focus now is to win laurels for the country.

"Those 2-3 days which we spent in Delhi after returning from London were tough. Nobody talked about us, nobody gave us any importance and we deserved that.

"I have learnt a lot from this episode. I know people run after success but nobody wants to lose. We didn't go to London to lose," Sardar said.

"My personal target now is to win a medal for India in a major tournament before my career ends," he added.

After the London debacle, the 26-year-old midfielder will now return to the drawing board to rectify his mistakes ahead of India's next major international assignment.

"Our main focus should be on the Champions Trophy now. Personally, I will work hard on the basics of the game and try to give my best," said Sardar, who is also the vice-captain of the national team.

Sardar also emphasised on the need to develop a strong and competitive domestic structure in the country.

"We need to improve the structure of our domestic hockey. Our domestic structure is not hard and aggressive like Australia or the European countries. A competitive domestic league is the need of the hour," he said.


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