Indian hockey team qualifies for Rio Olympics
The Indian men's hockey team won the gold medal at the Asian Games by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan 4-2. The match took place on 20 June. This win takes the Indian team straight to the Rio Olympics 2016. Akashdeep Singh, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra Lakra and Dhramvir Singh registered the scores for India, while vice-captain P.R. Sreejesh saved the day with his magnificent saves.
The qualification hockey game for the Olympics
A total of 12 teams will fight and reach the Rio Olympics 2016. A place is already reserved for the host team: Brazil. 1 team each from Africa, America, Europe, Asia and Oceana qualifies through the continental qualifications. The next 6 teams that are highest placed in the semi-finals of the Hockey World League 2014/2015 move to the Rio Olympics.
Brazil uprooting the ''lungs of the Earth''
Brazil has been facing a lot of heat for the $295 million spent on building the Olympic stadium, which is about 25% more than the original estimates, while uprooting acres of the most ecologically delicate region on the planet.
Infighting between hockey bodies costs the team
The infighting between Hockey India (HI) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), to become the sole authority over Indian hockey almost jeopardised India's qualification at the Asian Games. IHF withdrew from the hosting rights of Champions Trophy from India because of which India could not participate in the prestigious tournament. In the end, FIH (International Hockey Federation) recognised Hockey India as the National Federation.
Indian men's hockey team ranks number 9
According to the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) latest world rankings, India is on the 9th position, as of March 2015 with its arch-rival Pakistan at a close 10th position. These include points awarded following the completion of the Hockey World League Round 2 events. In the last decade, India has reached as far as the 5th position (2004) in the FIH Men's ranking.
India lends a helping hand to its arch-rival
Hockey India offered Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) financial help after the latter cancelled a training camp due to its inability to pay the coaches and players their daily allowance. The camp was to be held to help the Pakistani players prepare for the qualification tournament in the Netherlands in June for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
India ends the 16 year drought
This win is all the more special as it comes after a period of 16 years. Before this India won the gold medal in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok.