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Junior Hockey World Cup: Hardships Spurred Indian Colts to Dream Big

Junior Hockey World Cup: Hardships Spurred Indian Colts to Dream Big

New Delhi: India’s victory in the Junior Hockey World Cup has once again raised hopes of a revival of the sport in the country. While the senior team has been producing encouraging results this year, the triumph of the colts reaffirms the fact that the next generation is also on the right track.

India’s victory in the junior World Cup is only their second in the long history of the tournament and comes a decade and a half after their maiden triumph in 2001. While, Harendra Singh’s boys were one of the pre-tournament favourites, they still had to get the better of a strong field to finally come up trumps.

While the on-field performances got a lot of attention, the real story of these boys lies in their fight against hardships to become world champions.

Captain Harjeet Singh, goalkeepers Vikas Dahiya and Krishan Bahadur Pathak, defenders Harmanpreet Singh and Varun Kumar, midfielder Sumit Kumar and forward Ajit Kumar Pandey, all come from humble backgrounds. One things that binds these seven together, apart from the world conquering feat, is that their fathers worked day and night to ensure that their wards could represent the country.

“My father never refused anything to me. My stick used to break while playing but he made sure I get a new one. He has always supported me and helped me achieving my goals,” Harjeet told News18 during an exclusive interview.

Harjeet’s father had a monthly income of five thousand rupees, but he did all that he could to help his son realise his dream of playing for the country.

“He was a truck driver and used to return home after one or two weeks. Before starting his truck, he used to ask me – “Kuch chaiye tujhe” (Do you want anything?),” Harjeet recollected

“I knew it was tough for him to fulfill all my desires, but he did it with a smile on his face,” he said.

Goal-keepers Vikas Dahiya and Krishan Bahadur Pathak have similar stories to tell.

Dahiya whose heroics in the penalty-shootout against Australia in the semi-final gave India a crack at the title recollects how his father arranged money to buy a good goal-keeping kit for him.

“My father works as a truck driver in a factory. Despite earning not so well, he never said no to me.”

“He arranged everything required for the sport. Hockey is not that expensive a game, but when you are a goal-keeper, you need a good kit to stay safe and that is expensive. I have seen my father and mother arranging money for me. He knew my madness for the sport. He provided me with everything that I needed,” Vikas said.

Reserve keeper Krishna Bahardur Pathak, who originally hails from Nepal, lost his father earlier this year. His father Tek Bahadur worked as a crane operator.

Despite receiving a go-ahead from coach Harendra Singh for going back to perform his fathers last rites, who had expired in his home town Lugdi in Nepal, a young Krishan decided to stay back in order to represent the national team on the tour of England.

“My father came in search of a job in India. My sisters and brothers were born in Nepal, but I was born in Kapurthala. They are all 20 years older to me. I speak to them whenever I get time, I miss them,” Krishan said.

For most of these youngsters, this triumph is just a stepping stone to bigger things that await them in the future. What they need to remember is the hardships that they have faced to reach so far and keep their feet firmly on the ground as they enter an all new phase in their international career.

Here’s a look at the highs and lows of Indian hockey.

Hockey-Timeline-(002)

Watch Out For This Hockey Team in Future: Harjeet Singh

Watch Out For This Hockey Team in Future: Harjeet Singh

Lucknow: After leading the Indian side to a memorable World Cup winning victory, India’s captain Harjeet Singh said the current team will “give a lot of joy” to the countrymen in near future.

A clinical India defeated Belgium 2-1 in the summit clash to reclaim the title after a long gap of 15 year.

Harjeet thanked his teammates for the superb show and complemented the packed Major Dyan Chand Astroturf stadium here for support throughout the tournament.

“I would like to thank all the players who aimed to win this trophy. Everybody has put in a lot of hardwork under discipline. We all had one aim and we thankfully managed to achieve that today,” an emotional Harjeet said at the post-match press conference.

“The crowd support gave us a lot of confidence but we played according to our structure which we have been implementing for the last two-and-a-half years. This team is going to give a lot of joy to you all in the future,” skipper Harjeet said.

Harjeet said they approached the match as any other game and just concentrated on performing their duties on the turf.

“We all knew what we have to do in the field, everyone knew their duties. We just concentrated on that and played simple hockey. We played the final like a final.”

“We were leading by two goals and our planning was to sit back and defend and rely on counters. We played according to our plan. Every player put in energy,” he said.

India s coach Harendra Singh said he was assured of winning the trophy when he took over reigns of the team in 2014.

“In April 2014, I had said that we are going to win the trophy, you can ask these boys,” he said.

“The heroes are the players and I won’t take the limelight. These are 18 golden gems of India and it is their day.”

Chief coach of the senior men s team Roelant Oltmans, who was the manager of the junior side here, said the Indian colts played near perfect hockey, which was desired from the boys in a big match.

“The first half was very close to perfect game. But in the second half we gave them a little bit too much initiative to be honest. But not one second in this game I was worried”, said Oltmans.

The boys did a fantastic job and all the credit to these 18 players,” the Dutchman said.

Belgium coach Jeroen Baart said the crowd support did make a difference on Sunday.

“India started really well. Our boys didn’t handle the crowd and the atmosphere really well. They (India) were pretty fast. After the initial stages we became more patient and that gave us a little bit of momentum but they scored another goal,” he said.

Baart, however, was proud with the way his wards played in a big match.

“I am very proud of the boys they played in the second half. They adjusted to the crowd pretty well. They were patient and didn’t try to force themselves,” he said.

“But it was not very easy to play India in India at such a fantastic atmosphere. We weren’t good enough on the day to beat India in India.”

Junior Hockey World Cup 2016: India Beat Belgium 2-1 to Clinch Title After 15 Years

Junior Hockey World Cup 2016: India Beat Belgium 2-1 to Clinch Title After 15 YearsNew Delhi: Indian colts thumped Belgium 2-1 in the final to clinch the 2016 Junior Hockey World Cup title after a 15-year-gap in Lucknow.

It turned out to be a historic day for India as they reclaimed the title for the second time in the history of the tournament. India had last won way back in 2001, under Gagan Ajit Singh’s leadership, in Australia.

The home side dominated the match from the first whistle with Belgium hardly getting a glimpse of the Indian goal in the opening stages of the first half.

Harendra Singh’s troops were duly rewarded for their attacking intent as a brilliant reverse hit from Gurjant Singh gave India the lead in the 9th minute itself.

The Belgian goalkeeper came down rushing from the goal to the edge of the box to thwart the Indian chance but Gurjant improvised and hit a brilliant strike from zero angle and the ball landed in the right hand top corner of the goal.

The Indian colts then doubled the lead in the first half itself with Simranjeet Singh getting on the scoresheet this time. Simaranjeet’s shot from the edge of the box went inside the goal from underneath Van Doren’s leg.

India got two penalty corners in the second half but failed to convert either of them.

Belgium pulled one back via a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the game to make it a respectable score of 2-1.

Major Dhyan Chand Should Have Got Bharat Ratna Ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, Say Former Hockey Players

Major Dhyan Chand Should Have Got Bharat Ratna Ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, Say Former Hockey Players

New Delhi: Former greats on revived the longstanding demand for Bharat Ratna to late hockey legend Dhyan Chand with some saying the “wizard” should have been given the honour ahead of cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Former captains Ajit Pal Singh, Zafar Iqbal, Dilip Tirkey and Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar gathered here at Jantar Mantar another other former players in the hope that the government will fulfil their demand and confer Bharat Ratna to the legend who guided India to Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936.

“We have all gathered here in the hope that dada Dhyan Chand gets the honour which is long overdue. But we can only hope that he gets it. It is the political will that matters.

The same was the case when Sachin Tendulkar was conferred with the honour (in 2014). It makes no difference to his stature, whether dada (Dhyan Chand) gets the award or not. But he should get it as he is most deserving for the recognition,” Iqbal told PTI.

The clamour for the award to Dhyan Chand has resurfaced after he missed out on the honour in 2013 when Tendulkar was chosen for the country’s highest civillian honour ahead of the hockey legend. Even the sports and home ministry recommending Dhyan Chand for Bharat Ratna did not prove to be enough when UPA was in power.

Ajit Pal, who captained India to victory in 1975 World Cup, said Dhyan Chand should have been the first sportsperson to get the honour.

“People world over know him. He is known as a wizard of hockey and we have heard so many stories about him. If any sportsperson deserves the honour, it is him. He should have been the first one to get it. He played and won gold medals when India used to travel on bullock carts, there was extreme poverty. His sacrifice for the game is huge. The earlier governments erred in not giving him the award. I hope this government rectifies this mistake,” said Ajit Pal.

On Tendulkar getting the recognition ahead of him, Ajit Pal added: “I don’t want to compare any sportsperson with him.

Dhyan Chand played when we were still under British rule. The rewards that you see nowadays for winning medals were not there at that time.

“It was an era where one played for the applause and not for monetary benefits because there were none. I hope he is not disrespected anymore and gets what is long overdue.”

Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar said it is sad that hockey fraternity has been forced to repeatedly remind the government.

“He has been a father figure for us in hockey. Countless have picked up the game after being inspired by him and gone on to bring laurels for India. They looked up to the era of 1928, 1932 and 1936 and it is still binding the game. It is not a good feeling that we have all gathered here to demand Bharat Ratna for him. The government should have decided on it long ago,” he said.

“I don’t want to go into who got it before Dhyan Chand Ji. All we care about is that he should be bestowed with the honour. It is long overdue. Hopefully this central government will pay heed to our demand. If they don’t want to give, they should make it clear once and for all. We don’t want to be kept in the dark anymore,” Ashok Kumar added.

Former captain Tirkey said Dhyan Chand not getting his due is a classic case of discriminatory attitude towards sports.

“It is sad that we discriminate between sports. It is even more sad that we are demanding an award for him. He played when there was no recognition, no media. All I want to say is that we request the government to do the needful as soon as possible,” Tirkey said.

Other former players in attendance were Ashish Ballal, AB Subbaiah and Mohammed Riaz.

What hockey team need to do at Rio to be medal contender…

We need to be best in every match to be medal contender, says coach Oltmans

Roelant Oltmans

IMAGE: Indias chief hockey coach Roelant Oltmans with players. Photograph: Hockey India.

Their recent impressive showings have raised serious expectations from the national men’s hockey team in the Olympics and it’s chief coach RoelantOltmans said if his wards can give their best in every match, India stand a good chance of finishing in the podium in Rio.

“The team is eager and ready to challenge itself. In the lead up to the Olympics, we have shown some really good performances. It shows the ability of this team against the top sides in the world. Now, the idea is to show and prove that it was not one-off,” Oltmans said ahead of the team’s departure for the Games.

“We still have to show that we can repeat such a performance in every match at the Olympic Games. Our challenge is to do our best every day in Brazil. If we’re able to do so, we stand a good chance of a medal,” he added.

Hockey team

IMAGE: Indian hockey mens team leaves for Madrid. Photograph: Hockey India.

After a 10-day gruelling national camp here, the 16-member Indian team departed for Madrid, where they will play two friendly matches against Spain before heading to Rio.

Newly-appointed captain PR Sreejesh, who replaced long-standing skipper Sardar Singh, was upbeat about his team’s prospects in Rio.

“It’s heartening to see the kind of support we are getting ahead of the Olympics. This will only motivate us to do better,” said Sreejesh, who successfully led the Indian team to a historic silver medal at the recent FIH Champions Trophy.

“We hope to gain some match practice in Madrid. We leave for Rio on July 29 from Madrid. The boys are upbeat, well prepared and eager to start the tournament,” he added.

Sreejesh said in a sporting carnival like the Olympics, they can ill-afford to take any team lightly.

“Every match in Rio will be crucial. Every team will play to win, be it Ireland, Canada or Holland. We can’t take anyone lightly. We have our strategy for each team,” the experienced goalkeeper concluded.

Sreejesh replaces Sardar as Indian Hockey Captain, Sushila hockey captains for Rio

Sardar Singh has been removed as captain of the Indian mens hockey squad for the Rio Olympics. The 16-member squad, announced here today, would be led by goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and striker SV Sunil would be his deputy. The womens squad would be led by Sushila Chanu while Ritu Rani, the former captain and halfback, could not find a place in the 16-member squad. Haryanas Ritu Rani had been asked to leave the national camp last week, allegedly due to an attitude problem, lack of commitment and poor performance, so her absence from the squad is not a surprise. sardar and sushila

But Sardar being stripped of captaincy comes as a big surprise. Among the reasons is Sreejeshs inspiring performance at the Champions Trophy, in which India finished with a silver medal, their best-ever result in the 38-year-history of the six-nation tournament. Another factor is that Sardars magical midfield skills are on the wane. After being rested for the Champions Trophy, he returned to lead the team in a tournament in Spain, in which India finished fifth among six teams.

Chief coach Roelant Oltmans said that Sardar had been removed as captain in order reduce the burden on him. Sardar was taking too much responsibilities because of which he was not performing at the level that is expected of him, he said. Oltmans also said that Sardar had been affected by the allegations of sexual exploitation made against him by an Indian-origin British hockey player.

Overall, the squad has a settled look with several experienced campaigners. The squad has five players from Punjab (Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder, Manpreet Singh, Aakashdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh) and two (Surender Kumar and Sardar Singh) from Haryana. Odishas ever-reliable defender Birendra Lakra, who is still recovering from a knee surgery, is the only notable player absent from the squad. The womens squad has six players from Haryana Navjot Kaur, Monika, Rani Rampal, Savita, Poonam Rani and Deepika. Rani Rampal was a strong contender for the role of captain, but the selectors chose to give this responsibility to Sushila. This will be the first time in 36 years that the Indian womens hockey team will be participating at the Olympic Games.

Mohammad Shahid Hospitalised, Hockey India Offers Full Support

Mohammad Shahid Hospitalised, Hockey India Offers Full Support

Member of India’s last Olympic gold medal-winning team and the star striker of his time, Mohammad Shahid is down with a liver ailment and has been shifted from Varanasi to Delhi after his condition deteriorated.

Shahid, 56, had been recovering from jaundice over the last month, but he continued to complain about stomach problems, following which the doctors at his hometown advised specialised treatment in the Capital.

He was subsequently admitted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram, previously known as Gurgaon, in the National Capital Region on Wednesday.

Sources told News18 Sports that doctors at Medanta have put him under observation for three days, following which they will take decision on whether his liver is beyond recovery and needs to be replaced with a transplant.

Coming to know of it, Hockey India has offered full support to his family.

“I am continuously in touch with his daughter and told her that Hockey India is there to offer all the help,” Narinder Batra, president of Hockey India, told News18 Sports. “The fear that he may need a liver transplant is not as grave now, I think,” he added.

“I have assured them of a completely free-of-cost treatment at the Batra Hospital, if they wish to transfer Shahid there. Otherwise also, we are there to support the family in whatever is required,” he said.

The 1981 Arjuna Award winner is employed with the Railways and as of now is managing to fund the treatment. But if it comes to liver transplant, he might need some financial support.

The skilful forward of the yesteryears was known for his stick-work where he could get past the defence weaving his way with excellent dribbling.

Apart from the Olympic gold in the 1980 Moscow Games, Shahid also won a silver medal at the 1982 Asian Games and a bronze in the 1986 Asiad.

Sardar Singh Gets Hockey India’s Support Following Sexual Harassment Notice

Sardar Singh, against whomDelhi Commission for Women’s sent a notice on the allegations of sexual harassment, has received Hockey India’s support. HI said a detailed reply can only be filed after the 2016 Rio Olympics

New Delhi: Hockey India (HI) on Wednesday sought 10 weeks’ time to respond to the Delhi Commission for Women’s notice on the allegations of sexual harassment against Sardar Singh but firmly threw its weight behind the Indian captain by questioning the complainant’s “belated” charges.

In a letter to DCW chairperson Swati Mahliwal, HI said since the national team has a six-nation Tournament followed by the 2016 Rio Olympics, it would be able to send a comprehensive response on the matter only after August 23.

“We shall provide you with a detailed response once the team is back from Brazil and after ascertaining and verifying all the facts as stated by you in your notice dates June 14, 2016,” HI said.

“It is obvious that the complaint has been filed at a belated stage. Therefore we would like to verify all the facts and only after the verification will be able to respond to the notice issued by you.”

The woman, in her complaint, has alleged that Sardar physically abused her after promising to marry her. Sardar, on his part, has denied the allegations.

Indian Hockey Team Should Bring Olympic Medal: Dhanraj Pillay

Indian Hockey Team Should Bring Olympic Medal: Dhanraj Pillay

Mumbai: Congratulating the Indian hockey team for its fine display in recent times, former captain Dhanraj Pillay said on Tuesday that they should not end up regretting like he does even now after missing the chance of clinching a medal at the Olympics after four attempts.

“I congratulate the Indian team. They created history as it was the first time that we played in the final of the Champions Trophy against Australia (in London),” Dhanraj told reporters here on Tuesday when asked about the team’s performance and its chances at the upcoming Rio Olympic Games.

“Winning and losing are part of the game, but they have given a very tough fight (to Australia). When I was playing, I don’t think we played as consistently as they did for 70 minutes (against Australia) although we had beaten them in their own country,” said the four-time Olympian.

India lost 1-3 to Australia via the penalty shoot out in the summit contest, after tying goalless in regular time, to end up with their first silver medal in the annually held tournament that began 36 years ago.

Asked where he felt the team needs to improve to climb the podium at the August 5-21 Olympics, Dhanraj said the players need to be extra sharp in front of goalmouth.

“It’s in field goal scoring. You need to be very sharp at the goalmouth. Whatever opportunity you get, you need to convert it 100 percent. Don’t take a chance and don’t regret later as how Dhanraj Pillay is regretting. After playing in four Olympics, I still regret I could not win even one medal for my nation.”

The four-time World Cupper who also who represented the country in four Asian Games, complimented the team for the fitness level it has shown and also gave credit to the team’s Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans.

“With their performance over the last six months at the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament (in Malaysia where they reached the final and then lost to Australia) and in the Champions Trophy they have shown they are on the right track for Rio,” said the 47-year-old one-time mercurial forward.

Sardar Singh Returns to Lead India in Six Nation Tournament

Sardar Singh was rested for the recently-concluded Champions Trophy in London, where India’s won their silver medal in the competition history

New Delhi: Sardar Singh was on Monday named as captain in the 18-man Indian hockey squad for the six Nations Invitational tournament to be held in Valencia, Spain from June 27.

Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh also made a return with Sardar, and so did Birender Lakra. Goalkeeper P.R Sreejesh captained the Champions Trophy side in London where India won their maiden silver in the competition history.

The squad features a strong defensive line up, with experienced campaigners VR Raghunath and Kothajit Singh joined by the returning Lakra and Rupinder Pal. Vikas Dahiya remains a back up to custodian Sreejesh.

The other teams in the tournament are Argentina, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland and hosts Spain.

“After winning our first medal at the prestigious Champions Trophy tournament over the weekend, we are confident to deliver our best at the 6 Nations Tournament as well. All these matches are stepping stones towards the ultimate goal — Rio Olympics 2016,” said Sardar.

“The brilliant display of tactical hockey during Champions Trophy by the squad has positively elevated are Olympic medal-winning hopes. Three of the teams we face in Valencia are in our Pool at the Olympic Games, so that will help us assess and analyse our tactics better too,” he added.

Chief coach Roelant Oltmans said the squad is shaping up nicely for the Rio Olympics.

“I am really impressed by the boys with their recent performances, especially at the Champions Trophy. They are implementing the learnings of the training well into action. I hope we keep up the spirit and continue to deliver performances like this.

“The key to the tournament will be to use it almost as a host of friendlies, before the Games. We will try to maximise on our squad rotations, tactical experiments and analyse our opponents there,” he said.

“Most teams, will come with what resembles their full strength squad and so it will give us a good indication of our strengths and weaknesses, prior to Rio.”

India take on Germany in the opener on June 27.

Squad:
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh (VC) Vikas Dahiya; Defenders: Rupinderpal Singh, VR Raghunath, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra; Midfielders: Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh (Captain), SK Uthappa, Devindar, Sunil Walmiki, Harjeet Singh; Forwards: Talwinder Singh SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah.

Sardar Singh Returns to Lead India in 6 Nation Hockey Tournament

Sardar Singh Returns to Lead India in 6 Nation Hockey Tournament

New Delhi: Rested from India’s silver medal winning Champions Trophy campaign, Sardar Singh was on Monday named captain of the 18-man squad for the 6 Nations Invitational hockey tournament to be held in Valencia from June 27.

Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh also made a return with Sardar, and so did Birender Lakra. Goalkeeper P R Sreejesh captained the Champions Trophy side in London where India won their maiden silver in the competition history.

The squad features a strong defensive line up, with experienced campaigners VR Raghunath and Kothajit Singh joined by the returning Lakra and Rupinder Pal. Vikas Dahiya remains a back up to custodian Sreejesh.

The other teams in the tournament are Argentina, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland and hosts Spain.

“After winning our first medal at the prestigious Champions Trophy tournament over the weekend, we are confident to deliver our best at the 6 Nations Tournament as well. All these matches are stepping stones towards the ultimate goal – Rio Olympics 2016,” said Sardar.

“The brilliant display of tactical hockey during Champions Trophy by the squad has positively elevated are Olympic medal-winning hopes. Three of the teams we face in Valencia are in our Pool at the Olympic Games, so that will help us assess and analyse our tactics better too,” he added.

Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans said the squad is building up nicely for the Rio Olympics.

“I am really impressed by the boys with their recent performances, especially at the Champions Trophy. They are implementing the learnings of the training well into action at the tournaments. I hope we keep up the spirit and continue to deliver performances like this.

“The key to the tournament will be to use it almost as a host of friendlies, before the Games. We will try to maximise on our squad rotations, tactical experiments and analyse our opponents there,” he said.

“Most teams, will come with what resembles their full strength squad and so it will give us a good indication of our strengths and weaknesses, prior to Rio.”

India take on Germany in the opener on June 27.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh (VC) Vikas Dahiya;

Defenders: Rupinderpal Singh, VR Raghunath, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra;

Midfielders: Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh (Captain), SK Uthappa, Devindar, Sunil Walmiki, Harjeet Singh;

Forwards: Talwinder Singh SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah.

Champions Trophy Hockey: Sehawag, Laxman Hail India’s Performance in Final Despite Loss

Champions Trophy Hockey: Sehawag, Laxman Hail India’s Performance in Final Despite Loss

Indian men’s hockey team lost their Champion Trophy final 1-3 to Australia via penalty shootout late on Friday night but fans and big stars around the world hailed their gutsy performance.

After the 60 minutes of regulation play remained goalless in the final, Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell denied S.K. Uthappa, S.V. Sunil and Surender Kumar in the penalty shoot-out to drive Australia to their 14th Champions Trophy title — most by any side.

Harmanpreet Singh was the only scorer for India, while for Australia, Aran Zalewski, Daniel Beale, Simon Orchard succeeded. Indian goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh could only deny Trent Mitton.

 

PM Narendra Modi Congrats Hockey Team for Silver

PM Narendra Modi Congrats Hockey Team for Silver

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday congratulated the Indian men’s hockey team for winning silver medal in the Champions Trophy.

“Congrats to our Hockey Team for a spirited performance in Champions Trophy finals. Their effort has been brilliant. We’re proud of the team,” Modi tweeted.

India were pipped by reigning world champions Australia 1-3 via penalty shoot-out to settle for their maiden silver medal in the Hockey Champions Trophy in London on Friday.

Hockey India Rewards Team for Super Performance in Champions Trophy

Hockey India Rewards Team for Super Performance in Champions Trophy

London: India’s silver medal winning performance in the 36th Hero Champions Trophy has earned the players and team officials a reward from Hockey India.

Immediately after the medal presentation, Narender Batra, President of Hockey India, went to the dressing room and announced the rewards.

“Australia did well to win the title, but for me you too are winners today,” said Batra soon after the Champions Trophy jury had rejected India’s appeal against a shootout infringement.

India lost 1-3 in the shootout to world champions Australia after the title encounter remained goalless in regulation period.

Hockey India’s chief announced that each player and the chief coach would receive a reward of Rs 2 lakh, while the remaining support staff shall be rewarded by Rs 1 lakh.

Young defender Harmanpreet Singh, who was yesterday adjudged the Youth Player of the Tournament, will get an additional Rs 1 lakh as reward.

Champions Trophy: India Protest Exposes Skeletons, Jury Embarrassed

Champions Trophy: India Protest Exposes Skeletons, Jury Embarrassed

London: Off-field drama marred the controversial Champions Trophy Hockey title showdown as the tournament jury spent one hour and a half to find a way out to India’s protest against a shootout infringement against Australia here.

The tournament jury seemed to be in a fix when India filed an appeal against the video umpire’s decision to re-take the second attempt in the shootout. India had lost the shootout 1-3 after holding world champions Australia goalless in 60 minutes of regulation period last night.

It took the jury multiple replays to find a way out of the embarrassing situation that kept the result pending.

India had complained that Daniel Beale’s shootout attempt was allowed to go on for more than 14 seconds and the obstruction that was cited took place outside the eight-second limit for such attempts. The score then was 1-0.

After an hour and a half of the match’s conclusion, the jury eventually discovered that the ball had rolled under Indian goalkeeper’s pad for a couple of seconds. The jury now cited this as the cause why the shootout was re-taken. But it still took the jury a lot of explanation to the Indian captain and coach before announcing that the result would stay.

Australia thus won the title, but both teams had to be ushered out of the ground, to send a signal for the crowd to go home.

The medal presentation was then staged in the media interview room, away from the spotlight in the middle of the pitch.

“The umpires have failed,” said Narender Batra, President of Hockey India, who vehemently protested from the VIP galleries.

“Is this the quality of umpires you post in the final of the Champions Trophy?” asked Batra.

“The shootout attempt went on for over 14 seconds, and then it was re-taken. Just to cover up their shortcomings, they are now pointing out at a different incident,” he said.

“If the goalkeeper had made an infringement, that a penalty stroke should have been awarded,” Batra emphasised.

Indian coach Roelant Oltmans said it was “an unusual end to the tournament”.

“To be honest, the set process should be followed. Our protest was not about the result, but important tournaments should follow the process,” said Oltmans.

“If something like this happens at the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, just imagine the embarrassment for the game,” he said.

Oltmans said shootouts had witnessed several controversies in the past.

“It’s not the first time there’s so much protest over shootouts. The system should be revised,” said Oltmans.

“We protested against wrong execution of the shootout,” he said. “Is it not important that the shootouts are done properly?”

“We had to raise the issue because the process was not followed,” said Oltmans.

Fancied Australia, who clinched their 14th Champions Trophy title, faced a stiff fight from the Indians, who were playing their first final.

India’s lone previous medal in the Champions Trophy came 34 years ago, when they won a bronze at Amsterdam in 1982.

India Enter Final of Champions Trophy Hockey Despite Loss to Australia

India Enter Final of Champions Trophy Hockey Despite Loss to Australia

The Indian men’s hockey team qualified for their maiden Champions Trophy final after Great Britain came from behind to draw 3-3 against Belgium in London. Australia and India – will now meet in the summit clash on Friday.

India made it to the final with seven points from five games, while Australia had 13 points.

Earlier on Thursday, India were defeated 2-4 by a dominant Australian side in their last league match. This was India’s second loss in the tournament, while the Aussies are unbeaten so far.

After a unproductive first half, Australia struck a brace of goals to stay 2-0 in their favour going into the half time.

India pulled all 11 players into their own circle in the first quarter and succeeded in denying the rival strikers too much space or time to pose much danger.

It was in the second quarter, when the Indian defenders erred in conceding too much space in their territory that Australia mounted the pressure and succeeded in scoring twice through penalty corner conversions.

India did not have a single shot at the Australian goal in the first half and started their fightback too late to be able to change the result.

At the start, the Indians were content on defending their own territory and did not move up until the seventh minute, when overlapping striker Surender Kumar sent a cross into the right from the right flank. The Australian defenders kept their composure and the ball was cleared by the goalkeeper without an Indian striker coming into the frame.

Champions Trophy: India to play Australia in Gold medal match

Champions Trophy: India to play Australia in Gold medalmatch

India will play Australia in the Gold medal match in the Champions Trophy after Belgium and Great Britain drew 3-3.

GreatBritain clawed its way back from1-3 down to draw Belgium 3-3 in the final groupgame at the Hockey ChampionsTrophy being played in London. With the result, India finishsecondin the standings and take on Australia in the Gold medal match on Friday.

After Indias 2-4 loss to Australia in their final group stage fixture, Roelant Oltmans managed side were left to rely on the result between Great Britain and Belgium. As per the permutations in play, Britain needed to win to make their way into the final and Belgium needed to win by a considerable margin if they were to go ahead. But as Indias luck would have it, the game finished 3-3 to give India a chance to exact a revenge against the Kookaburras.

This will be Indias first ever final appearance in the Champions Trophy with the best result being a bronze medal at the 1982 event in Netherlands.

Thomas Briels gave Belgium the lead in the very first minute of the game before Britain equalised through Barry Middleton in the 25th minute from the penalty corner. The Belgians then added two goals to extend their advantage and come within touching distance of the final.Lock Luypaert scored in the 30th and 42nd minute from the penalty corner to make it 3-1 to Belgium with a quarter to be played. But Britain pulled two goals back in the final three minutes through David Ames and Middleton again.

With a minute to be played, Great Britain had another good chance to take the lead but the effort was saved by the keeper to give Indian players reason to breathe and eventually smile.

In the final, Australia take on India for the Gold medal while Germany take on Great Britain for thebronze medal. Belgium and Korea will square off for the 5th and 6th place.

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