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Can the Indian men’s hockey team end its medal drought in the Tokyo Olympics?


The Indian men’s hockey team, which was once untouchable, is no longer a lock for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, however the current squad offers some hope for a podium finish after more than 40 years.

The Indian men’s hockey team has consistently had to contend with living in the shadows of its illustrious past. At the highest level, eleven Olympic medals—eight gold, one silver, and two bronze—represent an impressive collection. But all of that is history. The Indian men’s hockey team last took home an Olympic medal during the 1980 Moscow Games. Over 40 years have passed, and despite moments when it appeared the curse would be broken, the dry spell has persisted. The Indian men’s hockey team, captained by midfielder Manpreet Singh, will once more aim to break that streak at the Tokyo Games and bring home the medal that the nation so much wants.

If superstition is any indication, the medal hoodoo may have finally come to an end. The Indian men’s hockey team won a gold medal in 1964 when the Olympics were last in Japan. While all the superstitious people out there will like reading that, let’s take a look at the present team and their recent accomplishments.

India will fight in Tokyo under the leadership of a capable captain and superstar. Manpreet Singh, who was named the male hockey player of the year in 2019, will make his third appearance for his country at the Olympics.

The squad won the Asia Cup in 2017, the Asian Champions Trophy in 2018, and the FIH Series Final in 2019 when he served as captain.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the schedule, India also excelled in the FIH Hockey Pro League and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar.

With the squad currently holding the fourth-place position in the globe, the improvements in overall performance have been evident.

Defenders Harmanpreet Singh and Birendra Lakra will serve as Manpreet’s backups. India will send 10 players to the Olympics for the first time, while other senior statesmen like PR Sreejesh will provide their experience.

The defending champions, Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, Australia, and hosts Japan are all in Group A along with India.

On July 24, India will play New Zealand in the opening game of their Olympic campaign.


In goal, PR Sreejesh

Defenders: Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, and Rupinder Pal Singh

Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, and Sumit are all midfielders.

Forwards: Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh, Shamsher Singh, and Dilpreet Singh.

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