Posted by: Gomzy | March 11, 2008

Indian Hokey: Died in Santiago Chilie March 9, 2008

Hockey was introduced to India by the Brits as the case with many other games. Indians took to the game and did very well in the Olympics. India won 6 consecutive Gold Medals in Olympics form 1928 Amsterdam to 1956 Melbourne. In 1960 Rome Olympics India had to be satisfied with a Silver Medal, losing to Pakistan in the Finals. India bounces back to win Gold medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. India defeats Pakistan in the Finals taking revenge of the ‘60 loss. Since then Gold Medal eluded India till 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. India won the Bronze Medals in 68 and 72. But the worst was 76 where we finished 7th. But 1980 was redemption time where we got the Gold once again after 16 years. This time India face Spain in the Finals. Since 1980 however India had lost the appetite for the Hokey as Indian become Cricket crazy after winning the 1983 Cricket world cup, and in 2008 India fails to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

What went wrong?
Indian Hockey teams debacle of in the 1976 Montreal Olympics where it finished 7th was attributed the lack of experience on the newly introduced astro-turf. We were kings of the ground but Hockey takes a new avatar on astro-turf. While the lacked experience on playing on the new truf, which hindered the ability of Indian Hockey internationally. We lost momentum in nurturing talent at the grass root level due to lack of infrastructure meanwhile people lost interest in the game as a consequence of poor performance.

Another reason could be attributed to the lack of preference and coverage by Media and general public. Hokey never got the print space that Cricket got and the fact is Indians favor Cricket over Hockey. The reason why Hockey is regarded as the national game is due to its incredible showing in the Olympics. To date the only gold medals India ever got in Olympics are in Hockey.

Many people blame the management of Hockey in India for the poor showing. Indian Hokey Federation has been under the supervision of erstwhile Super Cop KPS Gill since 1994. It has been reported in the media quoting IHF President : “We do not have an instant coffee machine that you can get results instantly. It takes time to regain your position. We have put the process in place and the results will take some time.” Makes many wonder how many more days one needs, to brew coffee?

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Responses

  1. Hockey has changed, all the gold medals we won on grass, and today hockey is played on Astroturf. Since the introduction of AT, we haven’t even managed to reach the semi-finals of an international hockey tournament. U are right when u say that the Indian hockey has been going down hill for a long time now, But i guess this Olympic loss can act as a tipping point in Indian hockey & result in sweeping changes in the way we played our hockey and administrated it…..Gill should go…………..


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