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Martin Haener's back - and he's chasing a medal
Now the 23-year-old is back and this time he's after an Olympic medal.
Haener – who established himself in the German national side after the Beijing Games, where Germany won gold – spoke to Push after his side's 3-1 loss to the Netherlands.
"I played one year in England and won the indoor and outdoor titles with East Grinstead. So I know some people here and it is nice to be back in London, " Haener said.
"It's a great atmosphere here in the Riverbank Arena. We are still enjoying it. Unfortunately we didn't play well today but we still have the chance to reach the semi-finals and that is what we will try to do next game."
The HC Berliner player already has an impressive international medal haul including a silver from the 2010 World Cup, a 2009 junior World Cup gold – where he also won player of the tournament – and a gold medal from the 2011 European championships. And Haener has fitted right into a German team led by formidable defender Max Muller and alongside a host of star players
"I've played with them the last three or four years. I play against them in the Bundesliga. It's nice to play hockey both with and against the best players in the world and that is why I play hockey," Haener said.
He said Germany had to stay focused for the tournament.
"At the start it was easy to be impressed by the big sports stars in the Olympic village – Michael Phelps in the swimming or the NBA players – but now it is just normal to go into the dining hall and see the other athletes. We have to be focused on our hockey.
"New Zealand is another tough game. Korea play Netherlands beforehand. And if Korea wins, we can't afford to lose. So there may be pressure to win. We have the strength to do well there.
"It's always your dream to play in the Olympics. But it isn't only a dream to play, it's a dream to win a medal and that is what we are trying to achieve here."