Revisiting the golden age of Indian hockey at the Olympics

India has won eight gold medals at the Olympics, between 1928 and 1980.

July 02, 2016 05:15 pm | Updated July 06, 2016 07:28 am IST

Having put up sterling performances at the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament and Champions Trophy, the Indian men's team is embarking on another Olympic voyage at Rio. India has a painfully glorious past in Olympic hockey. India has won eight gold medals at the Olympics, between 1928 and 1980. After that it has been a dry spell.

Rio is also an opportunity to prove themselves for the Indian women’s team as well. The have qualified for Olympics after a gap of 36 years, after finishing a creditable fourth in Moscow in 1980.

The Hindu has covered every moment of Indian hockey at the Olympics. Here we give you our coverage, right from 1928, of the golden moments as well as the let downs in Olympics. (Article Courtesy: The Hindu Archives)

1928: This is the first time India won the gold at the Olympics, after which we went on to win the next six consecutive Olympic golds. >Here is The Hindu’s editorial on that historic moment:

The Indian team won the gold by defeating Holland. The Indians took some time to settle down in the first half, owing to the reconstruction of thier forward line... >Read more

1932: India defended their gold medal, this time against USA: >Read more

The felicitations poured in from various quarters for the victorious team on their mammoth victory. >Read more

1936: India completed its hat-trick at Berlin. There was tense excitement when the curtain was lifted for the final.... >Read more

1940: The Olympic Games that were to be held in Tokyo that year, and later moved to Helsinki, were suspended indefinitely following the outbreak of World War II.

1948: India beat Great Britain 4-0 in the final of the London Olympics. From the opening whistle, India gave the spectators in the stadium an exhibition of intelligent and fast play... >Read more

The Hindu in its editorial paid glowing tributes to the Indian men's hockey team. >Read more

1952: India men's hockey team once again showed the world why they are supreme by outclassing Holland in the finals. Out of six goals in the finals, Balbir Singh scored 5. >Read more

Glowing tributes from various quarters poured in for the Indian team's classy performance. >The Hindu Editorial

1956: India defeated Pakistan 1-0 in the finals of the Melbourne Olympics and secured their sixth consecutive title. >Read more

In its editorial The Hindu appreciated the Indian hockey team. >Read more

1960: Only men competed in field hockey at the Rome Olympic Games. Pakistan won the gold medal, defeating India in the final and ending India's run of six successive gold medals. Spain won the bronze medal.

1964: India wrested back the Hockey crown from Pakistan in a thrilling game. This was the seventh gold for the Indian men's hockey team at the Olympics. >Read more

President Dr. Radhakrishnan and Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri congratulated the win and conveyed their wishes... >Read more

The Hindu editorial said, "The hockey of today however — and alas, too — is far cry from the hockey of the Dhyan Chand era." >Read more...

At the concluding ceremony of the 18th Olympiad at Tokyo, only the Indian hockey team participated. >Read more..

1980: After three more Olympics, India won their eighth hockey gold at Moscow. >Read more...

The Bhaskaran-led Indian hockey team was given a warm welcome at New Delhi.

>Parliament congratulates team

>The Hindu's Editorial

>TN honours Bhaskaran

>Time ripe for India to consolidate gains

After the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Indian hockey team witnessed a downward trend and has not won a single medal till 2012. India finished 12th in the 2012 London Olympics.

This time around, Indian men's hockey team led by Sardar Singh has displayed some scintillating performances and has won matches against stronger sides.

India finished second, below Australia, in the >Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and >Champions Trophy . According to >Indian coach Roelant Oltmans , the Indian team has a very good chance of finishing at the podium at the Rio Olympics.

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