Graham Reid steps down as Indian men's hockey team coach
Graham Reid resigned from his position as Indian men's hockey team head coach on Monday. The decision comes after India's disastrous exit in the 2023 Hockey World Cup in Odisha. Hosts India finished at the joint-ninth spot in the tournament. Notably, Reid and his support staff led India to a historic bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Here are more details.
Here's what Reid said
"It has been an honor and privilege to work with the team and Hockey India and I have enjoyed every moment of this epic journey. I wish the team all the very best," said Reid on his stint with the Indian team. Alongside Reid, analytical coach Greg Clark and scientific advisor Mitchell David Pemberton also put forward their resignations on Monday.
A look at India's achievements under Reid
Reid took over the role of India's head coach in April 2019, leaving his position as assistant coach of the Netherlands. He guided India to a bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, breaking India's 41-year-long wait for a medal in the tournament. India also won silver at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, besides finishing third in FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22.
India's campaign in the Hockey World Cup 2023
India were clubbed in Pool D alongside England, Wales, and Spain. India trounced Spain 2-0 in their opening game, followed by a goalless draw against England. The hosts overpowered Wales 4-2, concluding second in Pool D. India met NZ in the crossover match, only to lose in the shootout. They ended their campaign with wins over Japan (8-0) and SA (5-2) in placement playoffs.
Worst-ever finish for a host nation
As mentioned, India finished the joint-ninth place in the team standings alongside Argentina. This is the worst-ever finish by a host nation in a men's Hockey World Cup. India broke their record, having finished eighth in the 2010 event in Delhi. Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur 2002) and Argentina (Buenos Aires 1978) also finished in eighth place while hosting the competition.
India's performance at the Hockey World Cup
India last won the tournament in 1975, finishing second and third in 1973 and 1971, respectively. Team India exited in the quarter-finals of the 2018 edition. As per TOI, this was the first instance since 1982 of India playing at a Hockey World Cup as a medalist from the last Olympics. India ended a 41-year-long wait by winning bronze in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.