The Pride of India- Hockey

hockey Indian olympic mens team
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“It is not my country’s duty to push me ahead. It is my duty to push my country ahead.” – Major Dhyan Chand.

Hockey India is the acclaimed national sport of the country. During the times of oppression and struggle when our nation did not have an identity, field hockey rose as a writer of legacy and shield of the country.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports declared that there are no official sports in the country. But the history of field hockey has a golden record and true potential to achieve the status. Hockey India was the first non-European team to be a part of the International Hockey Federation in 1928.

From winning its 1st Olympic gold in 1928, the field hockey team was unbeaten till 1956 in the Olympics. Indian field hockey team is the most successful team in the Olympic event. When Hockey India was worshipped to the last medal in 1980, Hockey slowly faded away.

Many sports are played in India, and many will be played along forever, but Hockey gave its first victory to India, and Hockey will always be its soul. And in Tokyo 2020, they showcased why Hockey is still one of the most beloved sports of our country. 

Hockey India Men at Tokyo 2020

The Hockey India team, led by Manpreet Singh, created history on Thursday, 5th August 2021. They won India a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The team shone over Germany (5-4), putting an end to the 41-year wait for the podium. The Indian squad began their campaign with a 3-2 victory over New Zealand. But they suffered a 7-1 defeat against Australia in their second Pool A meeting.

They quickly jumped back on their feet and went on to win their next three group games and then managed to win over Great Britain (3-1) in the quarter-finals. They entered the semi-finals for the first time since 1972.

It took one bad quarter in the clash against Belgium to leave them searching for bronze, and the team collected their first medal in decades in a suave display, bouncing from 1-3 down to eke out a thrilling 5-4 triumph over Germany.

Here’s a line-up of the members involved in bringing our nation this glory:

Amit Rohidas, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit, Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay are ten players who made their Olympic debut in Tokyo.

The squad included six seasoned campaigners – goalkeeper Sreejesh; midfielder Manpreet; defenders Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, and Surender Kumar; and forward Mandeep Singh. These players were also a part of the previous Olympic squad in Rio de Janeiro.

Veteran defender Birendra Lakra, who missed the 2016 Games due to a knee injury, was also named to the side.

A noteworthy fact is that 10 out of 16 players made their debut Olympics under a veteran Captain.

Hockey India Mens team
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Indian Women Hockey Team

Indian Women team was never far behind. For three consecutive years, 2002, 2003, and 2004, the Indian Women’s Hockey team raised the country’s flag in the name of a gold medal in Commonwealth Games, Afro-Asian Cup, and Hockey Asia Cup. But, unfortunately, the team in The Tokyo Olympics 2021 was the one that ended up last in the last Olympic event. This meant that no hopes and expectations were ever there for these girls.

Women team Hockey India
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Hockey India Women at Tokyo 2020

The loss of the past only made this team stronger. They made a slow start, but step by step, they ended up winning against some of the strongest teams in the world, like Australia. Although the team ranked 4th in the Olympics, post-match, all the girls were supported by the opponent team – Great Britain. During that match, a statement was made that maybe Britain is taking home the medal, but that evening Indian Women’s Hockey team brought home the sport’s valor, honor, and glory. 

Maybe we fail to see sometime’s that our 1st field hockey gold as a Nation was not just a win but an answer to a cruel and unjust regime that our nation will always stand back up. Finally, after so many years, that honor was restored, and many state CMs requested the central government to announce Hockey as our national sport. 

When we say Chak-de-India now, we don’t just think of Shah Rukh Khan, but now these real heroes who outshined and outperformed themselves. So we are immensely proud to add this significant medal to our country’s accolade. Jai Hind!

This article is co-written by Sarthak Suman Gupta and Vaishnavi S, Manipal Institute of Communication, MAHE.


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