Zeller among German hockey probables for Rio Olympics

Monchengladbach (Germany), Dec 15 (IANS) In a bid to infuse more experience and depth in their hockey team, Germany have called up injured double Olympic gold medallist Christopher Zeller to the 29-member preliminary squad for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

One of the current generation’s finest strikers and drag-flickers, Zeller sustained a medial meniscus tear during the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-final last June.

Germany head coach Valentine Altenburg on Monday said the 31-year-old 2006 World Cup winner has recovered from the injury and is “motivated” for the upcoming challenges.

“Christopher is painless and extremely motivated. Even when it remains to be seen whether the triple challenge of paterfamilias, clerkship and Olympic preparation release more energy than it costs. I have a good feeling after a long talk (with him),” Altenburg was quoted as saying by the official website of the German hockey federation.

In the current squad are eleven players who won the London 2012 gold and four 2008 Olympic champions. Apart from Zeller, Moritz Furste, Tobias Hauke and Oliver Korn tasted success in Beijing and continued it in London as well. They are part of the Germany ‘golden generation’ and will be looking for the hat-trick in Brazil.

Altenburg said that he will announce the final squad in March.

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