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Tokyo Olympics: Indian hockey team to reach semi-finals after 41 years

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Tokyo Olympics: The Indian hockey team will enter the quarter-final match against Britain on Sunday. Four decades later, he is one step away from making it to the Olympic semi-finals. The 8-time Olympic champion Indian team has a chance to repeat its glorious history.

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The quarter final match will be played from 5:30 pm today. India and Britain have faced 8 times in the Olympics and both the teams have won 4-4 times. If we look at the ranking, then India is in third and UK is in fifth place. India has won three consecutive matches after the loss to Australia.

India’s last medal at the Olympics was in 1980 in Moscow, when the team won the yellow medal under the captaincy of Vasudevan Bhaskaran. Since then, the Indian hockey team’s performance declined steadily and could not do better after finishing fifth in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

There has been a tremendous improvement in the performance of the team

The team failed to qualify for the first time at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and finished last at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The graph of hockey in the country went down continuously. However, the performance of the Indian hockey team has improved tremendously in the last five years, reaching the third position in the world rankings.

Apart from the 1-7 defeat at the hands of Australia, the Indian team has played great hockey so far. The team finished second in Pool-A by winning 4 out of 5 matches. Britain, on the other hand, registered two wins and finished third in Pool B after two losses and one draw.

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The team doesn’t give up till the last minute

Australia’s Graham Reid, who took over as coach two years ago, the players’ confidence, self-confidence and fitness level have increased. The team that succumbed to the pressure earlier does not give up till the last minute. By Mandeep Singh, however, will have to capitalize on the opportunities. India’s strength is the midfield, which will have skipper Manpreet Singh and Nilakanta Sharma.

Defense has to improve its performance

Drag-flickers Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Amit Rohidas and Varun Kumar will also be expected to perform well. Defense will have to improve its performance.

Coach Reid said after the last match, ‘We have tried to get the momentum that we need in the quarter-finals. Scored some good field goals and created chances, but have to do better inside the circle’.

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