Indian Hockey Team: Indian Hockey Team Latest News Tokyo Olympic Bronze Medal Latest News Today: Hockey Gets Free Hits
- Keeping the level high until the Paris Olympics after three years
- Bringing young people like China closer to the Olympic Games
- Attention to hockey related facilities from state governments
Even though hockey is our national sport and because of this sport, why isn’t everyone’s heart beating for hockey even after winning the most gold medals so far in the Olympics? Why did this game not get the status of cricket in India? Why hasn’t the Indian hockey team reached the Olympic finals in the last 41 years? Talking to experts, we have come up with answers to similar questions. Roshan Jha
Challenge No. 1: Feeling inferior to cricket
Ashok Dhyanchand, a member of the Indian hockey team that won a bronze medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics, says the victory is miraculous but you have to keep up the pace. However, he does not agree that cricket is a better sport than hockey.
Ashok has also been a member of the Indian hockey team that won the World Cup in 1975. He says, ‘Test matches in cricket are like the Olympics and it seems that fame and money are everything in cricket. But the fame and glory that the country has gained through hockey in the Olympics cannot be found in cricket.
That is, both games should not be viewed in the same way. To take hockey forward, people need to be brought closer to the game. He says, ‘This victory can act as a tonic. The hockey team has to try to maintain the height it has reached. The most important thing is to never underestimate yourself.
Challenge No. 2: Ignoring State Governments
With the exception of states like Haryana, Punjab or now Odisha, the rest of the states do not seem to pay much attention to hockey despite it being a national sport. If this was the case, then the craze of hockey would have been created even in schools and colleges. Ashok says, ‘The most important thing is that hockey officials like Hockey India or Sports Authority of India (SAI), or state governments or the Ministry of Sports show special interest in it. Hockey along with schools and colleges should be developed in the hockey belt area. Only then can we maintain our position.
By the way, it is a good thing that some states reward players like now the Punjab and Madhya Pradesh governments will give Rs 1 crore each to all the players in their state who are participating in the hockey team. In addition, the Haryana government will provide Rs 2.5 crore to players from the state of Haryana who are included in the hockey team. The Haryana government will provide Rs 50 lakh to women hockey players. But this should not be limited to rewards. Every state should pay full attention to the game.
Challenge No. 3: The player is not recognized
Along with the men’s team, the women’s hockey team also won the hearts of the people with its performance. But the old hockey players are still disappointed that the women’s team did not get proper recognition. There is discussion after the victory but why not before that? In fact, players like Rani Rampal have had to struggle for a long time to play and keep playing hockey.
Ashok says, ‘No one has paid much attention to our women’s team so far. Not much is written about them and nothing is shown anywhere. There was not much discussion about them even when the team was going to play in the Olympics. If you show them before you go to the Olympics, people will know about them. Take out the biodata of the girls, show their faces. When we win we go to his village. Although it is not directly related to the game, if they are discussed, the excitement will increase.
Challenge No. 4: Lack of practice among the players
Ashok explains that he learns something as long as the player plays. If they are good, they also have some flaws. Our hockey team is very good. After the victory, however, the faults should not be talked about for a few days. But, if I was asked, I would say there is no shortage in the team. Players just need to be smart. That means our players need to practice more. Our training and strategy is very good. Our players just need to carve. Both men’s and women’s teams need to be exposed.
Challenge No. 5: Fear of foreign teams
The Indian men’s hockey team has failed to challenge Australia for some time. This time too, in the Olympics, he had to face a 7-1 defeat against this opposition in the chain matches. However, Ashok Dhyanchand is not worried about this. He says, ‘Losing to Australia is nothing to worry about. It is true that his game has been excellent in recent times. Although our women’s team has easily defeated her.
Former hockey legend Dhanraj Pillai, who has been part of the Indian team in the Olympics four times, also does not consider Australia a challenge for the Indian team. Dhanraj says, ‘It has taken many years for the Australian team to reach this stage. It’s not like we surrendered to Australia. There was a time when we were a little scared to see Australia. But, the new generation is giving Australia, the Netherlands or Belgium, tough competition to everyone. Even so, the hockey team has to prepare in such a way that it can win medals by beating every foreign team in the upcoming Olympics. It should not be the case that we play well in qualifying matches but fall behind in the medal race.
Challenge No. 6: Keeping levels high until the Paris Olympics
This time, of course, we have won a bronze medal, but it has happened so many times that our teams fall behind when it comes to getting medals. 3 years later is the Paris Olympics (2024). Until then, the team needs to be prepared in such a way that it can win medals.
Dhanraj Pillai says, “We have managed to win the medal after 41 years, but we were getting closer to the medal. However, after this victory, Indian hockey will reach a different level. There are already some shortcomings that prevented the medal from coming. When I used to play, I dreamed that our team could win a medal in the Olympics. We used to live very close to the medal in the Olympics but we fell apart. I think after this victory, the morale of Indian hockey will increase.
Challenge No. 7: Bringing the youth closer to the Olympic Games
The rest of the world, including India and China, does not see the excitement of the Olympic Games. What is hockey, there are many sports whose top players are not known to the youth of the country. Former India hockey coach Mir Ranjan Negi says people are talking about hockey right now. Our teams have played great this time. If there are any mistakes, they are the ones that come under more pressure.
The women’s team has done brilliantly. Therefore, the defeat of the team should be celebrated as a victory. With the Olympic Games, people are starting to know the names of hockey players like Rani Rampal and Vandana Kataria. Now they should have exhibition matches. Old players like Dhanraj Pillai should be brought along. It would be great if Bollywood celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan or Deepika Padukone came along. If it reaches the people in the form of a procession, the youth will see that if we also play the Olympic Games, then whether we win or lose, we will be welcomed in the same way. Then they will catch hockey. The stadium will then begin to fill up.
Indian hockey team medals at the Olympics
- Gold: 1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1980
- Silver: 1960
- Bronze: 1968, 1972, 2021
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