The Men's side of the 2012 Olympic field has been set as the Men's Olympic qualifying tournament has reached the semifinals. The teams who have earned the final four Olympic berths are Romania, Spain, Montenegro and Greece. In the preliminary rounds Greece went 3-2 but did have a +19 goal differential and Canada went 3-1.
The loss for Canada was tough for them to take as this was their best chance to qualify for the Olympics on their own merits as the last time they went to the Olympics was back in 2008 and prior to that was 1984 when a team dropped out and the 1976 games which they hosted the in Montreal. The team was one of the youngest and should make a run for 2016 in Brazil, but now they have to wait and watch from home.
"It wouldn't have made a difference if I was on the bench or not," Jovanovic said. "The guys fought really hard and never gave up. I have to congratulate them on their spirit. It is how we will build a winning mentality. I'm very proud of the way they played."
Jovanovic also talked about how his team is so young and that they will make a run at the 2016 Olympic Games:
"It's hard but there is a big silver lining in that pretty much this whole group is going to be around for another run at the next one," Graham said. "I guarantee every guy on this team is now thinking about 2016. We missed our chance to make London and it is going to take a little while to get over that, but this is a group that is going to keep fighting and you haven't seen the last of us, for sure."
"This is the youngest team in the world, by far," Jovanovic added. "The other teams will likely change quite a bit after this year's Olympics. The future for this program is very bright. We just need to wait a little bit for this team to grow and mature."
All Canada can do now is wait for the next cycle to begin and get better.
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