With only a few days to go for the Tokyo Olympic Games, All India Radio today talks about medal prospects of Indian Men’s Hockey Team.
When a new and uncertain Indian Hockey team went to their first Olympics in 1928, they stunned the world as they took home a gold medal. Over the course of around fifty years the team brought home 11 medals, 8 of which were gold. Unfortunately, after the 1980 Moscow Olympics where India took home the gold, the team has not even won a medal at the Olympics till date.
In the last three Olympic games, the men’s team failed to make the cut in 2008 and moved up to 8th in Rio, while finishing 12th in London. For Tokyo, however, there is a fair amount of optimism and expectation from the side who are currently ranked 4th, their best ever as the Games come calling.
The Indian men’s hockey team have been in-form in the build-up to the Olympics, with the last couple of years seeing them do quite well.
In the 2020 FIH Pro League, India registered two wins over Netherlands and drew 1-1 against the top ranked Belgium and Australia.
Earlier in the year in April, India have twice beaten defending Olympic champions Argentina in the same tournament. For coach Graham Reid’s side, the toughest challengers at the Games are likely to be Belgium, Australia, Holland and Argentina.
India are placed in Pool A in the men’s event, alongside current Olympic champions Argentina, and Asian champions Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Spain.
With Manpreet Singh at the helm, the Indian team has achieved important milestones, including winning the Asia Cup in 2017, the Asian Champions Trophy in 2018 as well as winning the FIH Series Final in 2019 over the past four years.
India also made the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar and performed exceedingly well in the FIH Hockey Pro League under him before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the schedule.
The hopes from the Indian Hockey team are high, as it looks to bring India glory once again at the Olympics.