India’s men’s and women’s hockey teams both climbed one spot after their historic Olympic performances in Tokyo to achieve their highest-ever world rankings, at third and eighth, respectively.
The Indian men team finished third, ending a 41-year drought with a historic bronze medal at the time of the Olympics, with Belgium taking gold and Australia taking silver.
“That’s the award for all our hard work and dedication to the game we love and the game that gave us everything,” says Indian men’s team Captain Manpreet Singh in a release from Hockey India.
“After 41 years, this ranking and Olympic medal represent the rise of Indian hockey… we don’t look back now; we set the standard and hope to grow from here.”
While the men’s team won bronze, the women’s team finished fourth in a hard-fought third place, barely missing out on a medal after losing to Britain.
“The fact that we didn’t hurt the team meant that they were on the verge of finishing on the podium. Looking on the bright side, we have made remarkable progress in recent years, and I am proud of it “Rani Rampal, captain of the women’s team, stated.
“Being able to finish in the top four of the Olympic Games and eighth in the world rankings is a tremendous achievement for us, and it has boosted our confidence.”
Manpreet’s team finished second in Pool A, defeating Great Britain 3-1 in the quarterfinals and 4 out of 5 group matches in a two-five loss to Belgium in the semifinals.
However, they made an incredible comeback in the Olympics to defeat Germany 5-4 and thus rose to the top of the world rankings.
“I have to admit that I consider myself fortunate to have played a role in the development of Indian hockey. It’s an incredible feeling to have won both the historic bronze medal and the highest Olympic ranking.” According to Graham Reid, head coach of the Indian men’s team.
“We played as a team, with the right attitude, and I believe the team accomplished that.”
After losing three games in the first round, the women’s team arguably pulled off the biggest upset of the Olympics by defeating Australia’s world number three in their first quarter-final.
The women’s team, on the other hand, lost their semifinal and bronze medal matches against Argentina.
“Achieving eighth place in the world and placing in the top four Olympics is an important step for Indian women’s hockey,” said outgoing Indian female team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne. “I believe that all teams will take us seriously.” The athletes are eager to learn and improve every day, which I believe is one of the main reasons we finished in the top four.”
The men’s team finished fourth after the first three rounds of the FIH Hockey Pro League in March of last year.
The women’s team, on the other hand, previously finished ninth in the world ranking, achieving the best quarterly result at the London World Cup 2018.
After reaching the World Cup fourth-rounds and winning silver in Jakarta in 2018, the women’s team became the Asian leading team.