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History of Indian Hockey in Olympics

Indian Hockey And Olympics Are Integral Part Of Each Other. India Dominated The Hockey World Till 1980 With 8 Golds, 1 Sliver And 2 Bronzes. The Introduction Astro Turf In Hockey Became The Main Reason Of India’s Downfall. In 2016, The Team Looks Good And Can Have A Podium Finish. Let’s See The Journey Of The Indian Hockey In Olympics:

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Prakhar Sharma | Updated on: 29 Jul 2016, 06:36:54 PM

New Delhi:

Indian Hockey and Olympics are integral part of each other. India dominated the hockey world till 1980 with 8 golds, 1 sliver and 2 bronzes. The introduction astro turf in hockey became the main reason of India’s downfall. In 2016, the team looks good and can have a podium finish. Let’s see the journey of the Indian hockey in Olympics:





In 1928 India won its first gold at the Olympics against the Dutch. In the final match India crushed Netherland, wizard Dhyan Chand scored a hat-trick of goals. The Indian hockey team found itself in unusual circumstances during the 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles. India successfully defended their gold against the host USA despite spite of the fact that there was groupism in the team, Indians vs Anglo-Indians. India scored massive victory defeating USA by 24 goals to 1.

In 1936 Berlin games, India won all its three league matches, defeated France 10-0 in the semifinals and crushed Germany 8-1 in the finals. Dhyan Chand lost a tooth when he collided with German goal keeper Tito Warnholtz, but this did not deter his spirits and India scored comprehensive victory over Germany. It is said that Adolf Hitler offered Chand a post in German army on higher salary that he got in Indian Army. However he refused with politeness. It was his last Olympics after which he retired.

The Olympic Games was suspended due to outbreak of World War 2 and it happened only in 1948 in Great Britain.

In 1948 India played as an Independent country and continued its supremacy in the hockey. It roll-over Great Britain by 4-0 in final to clinch its fourth yellow metal.

It was new format in 1952 Helsinki Summer Games. It was a single-elimination tournament with India, Netherlands, Great Britain and Pakistan qualifying to semifinals. India won the final against Netherlands by 6-1.

India’s winning streak continued in 1956 Melbourne Olympics when it defeated Pakistan in final by 1-0. The highlight of the event was that India did not concede a single goal in the entire tournament which match their 1928 Olympics record.

It was in 1960 Rome Olympics that India was defeated by arch-rivals Pakistan in the heavily contested final, ending India’s six consecutive winning streak. Pakistan scored in the eleventh minute of the match, India tried to breach Pakistan’s defense but was unsuccessful to do so and finished second. The result was Pakistan won its first gold medal in Olympics.

In 1964 Tokyo Games, India bounce back with vengeance to claim the gold in finals against Pakistan. In the final match India won in a thrilling match by 1-0. In 1968 Mexico games, India managed to bag bronze. In 1972 Munich games India won its second bronze medal defeating Dutch. However, India topped its table in the league stages.

In 1976 Montreal games new synthetic pitch was introduced and India finished 7th place. Barely winning World cup after one year, India slumped in the Olympics only due to the infightings within the team. For the first time India came back without any medal. India was basking with confidence again at 1980 Moscow games as they bag the gold after a gap of 16 years.

In 1984 games, India finished fifth place. The Indian team did exceptionally well in the league where their only loss was to Australia and needed to beat Germany in their last game to advance to the semifinals. However, India could manage only a goalless draw and Germany scrambled into the medal rounds.

In 1988 games at Seoul India finished sixth place. India’s hope was demolished when they were defeated by Great Britain in the last league match. Indians were placed in the 5-8 positions where they lost to Pakistan to finish at the sixth spot.

In 1992 games in Barcelona India finished seventh place. They managed only two wins in league stages i.e. against Argentina (1-0) and the Egypt (2-1) while they were beaten in other three games against Germany (0-3), Great Britain (1-3) and Australia (0-1). They were placed again for 5-8 spots, India lost to Spain 0-2 in the play offs, but somehow managed to beat New Zealand 3-2 to finish seventh.

In 1996 games India finished eighth position in Atlanta India’s poor run continues where they lost to Argentina 0-1, drew with Germany 1-1. India managed to beat USA 4-0 but drew with Pakistan 0-0. Even though they were able to beat Spain 3-1 they still had to settle for 5-8 rank playoffs where they lost to Korea 6-8 in tie break.

Sydney Olympic campaign in 2000 started with a 3-0 win over Argentina and later in a draw against a strong Australian side. Even though India was defeated by Korea, they re-grouped well to beat Spain 3-2. However in a crunch game, Poland defeated India thereby shattering hopes of hockey fans. This is evident as no hockey fan could ever forget Dhanraj Pillay leaving the field in tears.

In 2004 games India finished seventh position in league stages, India lost to Netherlands 1-3, scored victory over South Africa 4-2, but lost to Australia 3-4, lost to New Zealand 1-2 and drew with Argentina 2-2. In the end they have to settle for playoffs.

In 2008 games Indian Hockey reached the lowest point ever when they failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, when they lost 2-0 to Britain in the final of a qualifying tournament.In 2012 London Olympics India finished twelfth position as they were unable to defeat any team in league stages. They were beaten 3-2 by South Africa in the 11-12 place classification.

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First Published : 29 Jul 2016, 06:32:00 PM