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Indian hockey the home of exceptional gaming techniques and enduring enthusiasm

The golden era of Indian hockey, when India loomed large in world hockey and produced some of the finest players the game has ever seen.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 24.03.2018
Hockey In India: Exceptional gaming techniques and Enduring enthusiasm | Sports Social Blog

The first hockey club came up in Calcutta in 1885-86 and soon Bombay and Punjab followed suit. Indian Hockey team was the first non- European team to be a part of the International Hockey Federation.

Indian Hockey made its Olympic debut at 1928 Amsterdam Games and won its first Olympic gold without even conceding a single goal. In 1928, the defending champions, Great Britain, interestingly enough, withdrew from the tournament, possibly as a result of having lost 0-4 to India in an exhibition fixture just before the Olympics. This was the starting of Golden Era of Indian Hockey.

From 1928 to 1956, was the golden period of Indian Hockey Team. The Indian men’s team remained unbeaten in the Olympics, gaining six gold medals in a row. The hallmark of this ruthless domination was the wizardry of Indian Hockey Legend-Dhyanchand. During the period of 1928 to 1956, Indian hockey team won 24 consecutive matches and during this time India scored 178 goals conceding only 7 in the process.

1928 win set in motion a sequence of ten successive medals - seven of them were gold, 1 Silver, and 2 Bronze. This remains a record in men’s hockey. Till now The Indian team has won a total of eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals in Olympics.

This was the golden era of Indian hockey when India loomed large in world hockey and produced some of the finest players the game has ever seen. During this dominance, one name that clearly comes to mind is Balbir Singh. For almost three decades, the Indian team had about five players with the same name. The first Balbir Singh played with the great Indian teams of 1948, 1952 and 1956. He reached the pinnacle of success at Helsinki in 1952 when he scored five goals in a 6-1 gold medal victory over the Netherlands. The four later Balbir Singh played with the later Indian champions.

After 1980, Indian Hockey team has not won an Olympic medal. On 9 March 2008, India lost 2–0 to Britain at Santiago, Chile in the final of one of the three qualifying tournaments for the Beijing Olympics. With only the winner advancing to the 12-team event, the Indian men’s team

was eliminated from the Beijing Olympics competition. This is the first time that the Indian men’s team did not participate in the Olympics since 1928. India finished in 12th place (Last) in the 2012 London Olympics.

However, the record created by India is likely to stand strong through ages, as no other country has ever managed to come close to it, leave about beating it. Talking about some of the legendary and outstanding players of Indian hockey, Dhyan Chand, K.D. Singh, Dhanraj Pillay and Dilip Tirkey are some names that come to mind instantly. Thanks to their exceptional gaming technique and enduring enthusiasm, the position of India in the field of hockey achieved new heights.

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