The Australia Men’s National Field Hockey Team is the favorites to win the Gold Medal in the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics. The Kookaburras are currently ranked first in the world after being crowned champions in the past two Hockey World Cups.
It has been 12 years since Australia won a Gold Medal in Field Hockey despite being the favorites in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. Germany has won the past two Gold Medals in the Olympics with Australia finishing third both times.
In an interview with Reuters, Australia squad member and veteran player Glenn Turner revealed that they hired a psychologist after the 2012 London Olympics. He mentioned that it helped them build chemistry heading to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“Yeah, we had to do a lot of long hard looking at ourselves, but it paid off ultimately. Leading up to London we had trained really hard but there was a very different feel to the squad compared to this time around. After London we got a psychologist in and we started to get to know each other a lot better,” Turner said.
On the other hand, Mark Knowles provides the Kookaburras leadership and experience as this will be his fourth Olympics. He was the 2014 World Player of the Year and has won a Gold Medal in 2004, and two Bronze in 2008 and 2012.
“When we go to the Olympic Games as the Australian men’s hockey team we want to win, we don’t want to get bronze, just make the semis or play off for fifth,” Knowles said.
According to International Hockey Federation, Australia is followed by Netherlands, Germany, England and India in the world rankings before the 2016 Rio Olympics. Belgium, Argentina, New Zealand, South Korea and Pakistan are the nations rounding out the top ten.