Bronze win is like a 'tonic' for India
Indian ace striker SV Sunil said that India's win against Netherlands will work like a 'tonic' for Indian hockey. He also stressed that the team will have to work really hard on some areas to clinch a medal at upcoming Rio Olympics. Lauding skipper Sardar Singh and goalkeeper Sreejesh, Coach Roelant Oltmans said the achievement will be a "huge confidence booster" for his team.
What is the Hockey World League?
The Hockey World League (HWL) is an international field hockey competition organised by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). The competition is composed of four rounds and is held over two years. HWL also serves as the qualifier for Hockey World Cup and the Olympics. The first edition of HWL was played in 2012-2013. The 2014-15 Men's HWL was held from 2014 to Dec 2015.
Olympic qualification criteria
The six highest placed teams in the semi-finals of the Hockey World League 2014/2015 not qualified under continental qualifications or as the host country team will earn one quota place and qualify for the 2016 Olympics.
How are teams selected to play in HWL?
Each national association member of FIH had the opportunity to compete in HWL. After seeking entries to participate, 56 teams were announced to compete. Top 11 teams as per FIH rankings get an automatic bye to the semis and the next 8 teams ranked between 12-19 get a bye to the Round 2. Teams ranked 20 and beyond were allocated to play Round 1.
Qualifiers from Round I & II
35 teams competed in Round 1 of HWL, for 15 berths in Round 2. In Round 2, a total of 24 teams, including the teams that advanced from Round 1, competed in 3 events to play for 9 berths in the Semifinals. The 9 teams from Round 2 that advanced to semifinals were Japan, Malaysia, Poland, Ireland, Austria, Canada, France, China and Egypt.
Top 11 teams that automatically qualified for Semis
Germany, Australia, Netherlands, Britain, Pakistan, New Zealand, Spain, South Korea, Belgium, Argentina and India ranked in that order automatically qualified for the HWL Semifinals.
The winners of the HWL semifinals
A total of 20 teams took part in HWL Semifinals. The teams were grouped under HWL Semis- Buenos Aires and HWL Semis - Antwerp. Four teams from Buenos Aires Semis - Germany, Netherlands, Argentina, Canada and four from Antwerp Semis - Australia, Belgium, Great Britain and India advanced to the HWL Finals. India, being the host nation for Final, had qualified automatically from semis.
India wins historic bronze beating Netherlands
India broke a 33-year-old medal drought, as it came back from two goals down to stun defending champion Netherlands in a shootout to win a historic bronze. India last won a medal in an international tournament way back in 1982 when it beat Pakistan 5-4 in the Champions Trophy in Amsterdam. After a 5-5 tie, Indian team prevailed 3-2 in the penalty shootout.
World champions Australia clinch HWL title
Australia beat Belgium 2-1 in the final to become the champions of the Hero Hockey World League (HWL) Final at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International Stadium in Raipur. While Belgium entered final by beating India in the semis of HWL Finals, Australia did so by defeating Netherlands in the semis. Germany, Britain, Argentina and Canada were eliminated in the quarter-finals of HWL Finals.