Wednesday, January 18, 2023

India hockey team makes history by beating Britain

  • India last won gold 41 years ago at Moscow Olypics in 1980
  • In a fighting performance India beat Great Britain by 3-1
  • India marches into semifinal of Olympic hockey

Tokyo: Along with Sindhu, Indian hockey team also created history on Sunday by beating Great Britain 3-1 to march into men’s hockey semifinals after 41 years. Goals scored by Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh and Hardik Singh helped India to beat Great Britain in the men’s hockey quarter final and enter semifinal in the Olympics. Dilpreet Singh scored in the first few minutes of the game while Gurjant scored at the start of the second quarter. The Indian players maintained the lead 2-0 half time. The goal on behalf of Great Britain was scored by Samiel Ian Ward got the goal for Britain at the end of the third quarter converting a penalty corner making the score 2-1.  But Hardik Singh scored in the fourth quarter to make India lead 3-1 which the Indians maintained till the end.

India won three back-to-back games in the group level. Chief coach Graham Reid said before the start of the match that Indian players have to keep the momentum going.  Graham Reid said the Indian have to maintain high tempo playing against Great Britain. His wards have done just the same.

India had last won a gold medal in hockey at Moscow Olympics in 1980. India won seven Olympic gold medals in hockey between 1928 and 1964, losing only in 1960 final getting a silver medal. Since 1980, the Indian hockey team never went up beyond fifth position. It was placed in the fifth position at Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. It failed to qualify in 2008 Beijing Games and finished last in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Hockey was known as Indian sports at one point in time. Dhyan Singh was the role model for European players.

Graham Reid, Chief Coach of Indan hockey team

Australian coach Graham Reid took over the reins two years ago. He made the players believe in themselves by inculcating confidence in them. Before the match started Reid said, “To be honest, facing any of the four European teams who have come directly from the Euro Championship was always going to be a difficult quarterfinal game, but I think it really matters which one you get. But probably Great Britain are the ones who are comfortable with and very confident with. I think if we play the way we know that we can, then definitely victory is possible.” The team captained by Manpreet Singh has proved their coach right and set the record straight.

The only match India lost pitiably was against Australia at 1-7 goals. Indians have carried on the campaign well so far this time winning five out of six matches so far. They won three out of four group matches. India finished second in Pool A while Britain came third in Pool B. Britain lost twice and won twice in group matches before losing to India on Sunday.

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor

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