February 27th, 2012
Email this page

Indian hockey team enters London Olympics

Indian Hockey team

New Delhi: The eight-time champions India is back in the game. India thrashed France 8-1 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium to claim the final of the 2012 London Olympic men’s hockey qualifiers. Having missed an Olympics (2008 Beijing), for the first time in 80 years, India was determined not to suffer the same disaster. India finally beat France to replace the tears of Beijing Olympics 2008 with joyful smiles of 2012.

Ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh, who was a part of the team that lost the qualifiers in 2008, starred scoring five goals – including a hat-trick – all from penalty corners (19th, 26th, 38th, 49th and 51st). Birendra Lakra (17th), S.V. Sunil (43rd) and V.Raghunath (55th) scored goals apiece. Sandeep, who had promised to score at least 12 goals in the tournament, remained the top scorer with 16 goals.

Simon Brisac-Martin of France scored the solitary goal for its country in the 24th minute. India’s eight goals in the final took their goal tally to a mindboggling 44 in six matches, including the final. And with 16 goals to his name, Sandeep bagged the highest goal-scorer award while Sardar Singh was adjudged the Player of the Tournament.

The No. 10-ranked Indian team began their unbeaten run by overwhelming Singapore 15-1. The big wins in the league stage didn’t stop there and were repeated against Italy (8-1) and France (6-2) until the first real test against Canada, which India passed 3-1. Their last league game against Poland was another closely fought match, until the hosts scored two goals in the last five minutes to win 4-2.


Press ctrl+g to toggle between English and Malayalam.