India men's hockey team to finish 2021 as third-ranked side
The Manpreet Singh-led India men's hockey team will finish the year 2021 as number third-ranked team in the world. It is also India's highest-ranking this year. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) released its latest rankings on Thursday. India will end 2021 with 2296.038 points in their kitty. Team India on Wednesday won the bronze medal in the just concluded Men's Asian Hockey Championship trophy.
- 2021 was a great year for the men's team, in particular.
- Manpreet Singh-led India ended the nation's medal drought at the Tokyo Olympics by winning the bronze medal.
- Their second-string squad claimed the bronze in the Asian Championship trophy.
- Ending the year in the top three is another great sign in terms of progress.
Australia have leapfrogged Olympic champion Belgium to finish at the numero uno spot. The Aussies have accumulated 2,642.258 points while Belgium have 2,632.121 points under their belt. The Netherlands (2,234.33) are placed at the fourth spot while Germany (2,038.71) are occupying fifth place on the table. The next five teams are - England (1,990.62), Argentina (1,826.11), New Zealand (1,598.24), Spain (1,532.33), and Malaysia (1,427.18).
In the women's category, India have slipped to the ninth spot. They will finish the year with 1,810.321 points in their kitty. The Netherlands women are leading the table with 3,015.356 points followed by England (2,375.787) and, Argentina (2,361.282). Australia (2,334.048), Germany (2,126.153), and Spain (1,959.628) are occupying the fourth, fifth, and sixth spots respectively. Belgium are sitting at seventh followed by New Zealand.
India won four out of five of their group match to finish at the second spot in Pool A. They bested Great Britain 3-1 in the quarter-finals but were beaten by Belgium 2-5 in the semi-finals. They faced Germany in a third-place finish match and came from behind to grab a 5-4 win to end India's four-decade-long medal drought in the Summer Games.
Indian women's team scripted history by reaching the semi-finals of the 2020 Tokyo Games. India qualified for the semi-final by defeating Australia 1-0 in the quarters. India were beaten 1-2 in the semis by Argentina. They lost the bronze medal match to Great Britain 3-4. The last time India finished fourth at the Olympics, was during the 1980 Moscow Games.