The Rio Olympics were not a great show in terms of the overall medal tally for India. But the recent spate of wins in hockey qualifying matches to seek berths in the ensuing Olympics have demonstrated hope for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. What really brought comfort to the hockey lovers was the entry of the country’s hockey teams (both men and women) into the approaching Olympics from the Asian continent. Japan, being the host country, gets direct entry into the hockey event; Indian men’s team won over the rival Russian hockey team by a margin of 11-3 whereas the women’s team crushed the U.S. team by a margin of 6-5 on aggregate respectively.
This initial success showed how good both the teams’ efforts were! Both the men and women hockey players proved their mettle and secured berths in the ensuing sporting extravaganza. Achieving formidable victory in the traditional game of hockey against stronger opponents is no mean feat; in fact, it is a fine presentation of the stick work on the home ground. The presence of India in hockey at one of the biggest international sports platform leads the fans to expect better hockey. Although this game has almost lost its conventional sheen, as so many believe, there remains a bit of glamour when played in the international domain. What was once played on the grassy or clayey ground is now widely played on the artificial turf. The ball moves faster, and the players have to keep their pace with it.
India’s men’s hockey team qualified for the next edition of the Olympics equalising in the 21st time, although they had an unlucky miss out in the 2008 Beijing Games. The women’s hockey team qualified for the third time. It also took the team to its second successive Olympics. America was left devastated, falling short in spite of an incredible fightback, when no one gave them a chance to reverse the big deficit. However, the country’s women hockey players received the credit they deserved. They strived to write their own success story to validate their trailblazing accomplishments lately. The stick players obviously prepare to deal with the obstacles on the field; they focus on the ultimate aim of shooting a goal and do not allow themselves to be distracted by a defeat.