Indian volleyball team refuses to speak to media after defeat to Pakistan
The Indian volleyball team's fairytale campaign at the 2023 Asian Games ended in bitter disappointment as they lost to Pakistan to end 6th.
The Indian volleyball team's fairytale campaign at the 2023 Asian Games ended in bitter disappointment as they lost their last match of the campaign in straight sets to Pakistan to end 6th on Tuesday evening.
But there was even more bitter disappointment in store for the handful of journalists who had gone to the China Textile Sports Centre Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China to give a rousing send-off to the team, regardless of the result of the final match.
The Indian team, playing without their regular captain Vinit Kumar, looked like a shadow of the selves they had been throughout the tournament, during which time they beat South Korea and Chinese Taipei and ran world number five Japan close as well.
They missed far too many service points and were often found to have been outwitted by Pakistan's spikers. Ashwal Rai, who has been one of the standout players of the team, scored a total of 2 points in the match. Muthusamy and Ukkrapandian, two dependable players who would have been expected to step up in Vinit Kumar's absence, scored 1 point each across the entire match.
But the Indian team betrayed themselves, even more, when they refused to speak to the four Indian journalists who were waiting to speak to them for one final time in Hangzhou.
Within a minute of the defeat, the entire Indian team, accompanied by their coaches, briskly walked out of the venue, dismissing all requests for interactions. No official of the Indian team was in sight either.
With the 25-21, 25-20, 25-23 straight-sets win, 51st-ranked Pakistan finished in the top five for the first time since 1960.
The Indian team, on the other hand, had finished fifth at the 2014 Asian Games. They will need to be content with a 6th-place finish this time.