"It was in London where it all began for me (in the 1948 Olympics). Now, everything is over at the same place. It can't get worse. Our hockey is dead," Claudius told PTI at his residence today.
The 85-year-old had followed all the matches of the Indian team at London Games, staying glued to his television even at the odd-hours only to be left heartbroken by the former champions' worst ever Olympic campaign.
"It's a disgrace. Either they lack in dedication or they don't deserve to represent India. It's really sad that we not only lost but could not do anything. The least we wanted was for them to win a match," he said.
Claudius is one of the five surviving members (Keshav Dutt, Grahanandan Singh, Jaswant Singh Rajput and Balbir Singh Senior) of the 1948 squad that had won the gold in London.
One of the finest right-halves, the former captain was also part of next three Olympics that won two gold and one silver, a record only matched by compatriot Udham Singh.
"Oh, those were the days... We played with heart. With KD Singh (Babu) we had the best team in 1952 at Helsinki. We were invincible," he recalled. (MORE)
Even as Anirban Lahiri had a nightmarish meltdown in the second round, Jyoti Randhawa, SSP Chowrasia and Gaganjeet Bhullar seemed the only Indians ...