Saturday, January 31, 2009

India Defeated New Zealand 2-0 in the Opening Game of Punjab Gold Cup Hockey 2009

In the opening match of the Punjab Gold Cup Hockey tournament, India men’s hockey team defeated New Zealand 2-0 at the Sector 42 hockey stadium, Chandigarh in India. The four-nation tournament has begun today with the host team taking on strong Kiwis and got off to a good start with a convincing victory. From the very beginning of the match, India dominated over New Zealand, and new Captain Sandeep Singh scored the first goal in the 18th minute from the second penalty corner. New Zealand never looked confident following that goal and they failed to come back in the match. India doubled their lead in the 61st minute when Shivender Singh scored from a Sandeep pass.

The victory must have boost up their confidence level before they meet Olympic champion Germany in their second match of the tournament. Netherlands is the other team in the tournament.

Related article:

PTI News

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Indian Hockey Federation Released 2009 Calendar for Indian Hockey Team

Indian hockey team will have a very tight schedule in 2009 as is suggested by the 2009 calendar published recently. The full year schedule for 2009 has been approved by the ad hoc committee of Indian hockey federation. India’s packed schedule kicks off from Jan 31 with the four-nation Punjab Gold Cup tournament stating in Chandigarh. In February, India will visit New Zealand for a four-test series which will be followed by Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia in April. India’s next tournament will be 8th Asia Cup which begins on May 8 in Dubai. India will tour Europe in July-August to play tests against England, Belgium, Spain and Holland. Before the Champions Trophy in December, India will host a number of hockey powerhouses like Australia, Germany and Spain in test series during October and November.

India failed to qualify for last year’s Beijing Olympic Games which was the first of such instance in the history of Indian hockey. So, Indian Hockey Federation seems to be desperate to ensure Indian team plays hockey all through the year. Recently, Indian youth hockey team has won silver medal at Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Indian Boys Won Silver, Girls Won Bronze in AYOF

Indian boys hockey team lost to Australian boys 2-1 in the final of Australian Youth Olympics in Sydney recently. Thus, India’s boys hockey team won silver medal from the tournament. Australia won the match thanks to a golden goal from Jason Donohoe. It was a highly competitive final which was full of excitement. After the defeat, Indian coach A.K. Bansal expressed his disappointment, saying that he had not expected to lose the match against Australia. Mr. Bansal also said that India was better side in the match and had more ball possession than their opponent. So, he thinks that luck did not favor Indian team.

Meanwhile, there is good news from Indian girls hockey team as they clinched the bronze medal from the competition. India’s girls team defeated USA girls team 2-0 in the third and fourth place deciding with Rani Rampal and Ritu Rani Tindal scoring for India.

Related article:

The Hindu

Friday, January 16, 2009

India Men’s Hockey Team Reaches Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF)

Indian men’s field hockey team has made it to the final of the ongoing Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF), defeating Great Britain 6-1 pretty comfortably in the second league match of the four-team U-21 tournament. Captain Diwakar Ram and Pramod Kumar scored twice each, while Danish Mujtaba and Jaykaran scored once each. Britain started off well in the match, but all went in vain when Indian players started to score goals. Nick scored the only goal for Britain.

Despite the inspirational performance from men’s team, India’s youth women’s team failed to reach the title being defeated by host Australia 3-2 in the second league match. Women’s team also lost the first match of the competition. Before the tournament final, India men’s hockey team will face Malaysia in the third league match on Saturday. Now, let us see if India men’s hockey team can win the title.

Related article:

The Hindu

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Field Hockey Struggling to Remain as India’s National Sport

There was a time when Hockey was the Symbol of pride in India. In fact, field hockey is the national sport of world’s second most-populated country. However, it has been many years since India lost its dominance in world hockey. India won Olympic Gold medal on eight occasions when the game was played in grass field, but since the emergence of synthetic turf, India started losing its glory, and now, hockey in India is on the verge of losing its status as the country’s national sport. India even failed to qualify for Beijing Olympic Games 2008.

I got really shocked to know that even some of the former legends of Indian hockey are also claiming that the hockey does not deserve the status of national sports. There are a number of sports like shooting, boxing, Snooker and billiards which are bringing fame and titles for India from international level. Cricket is perhaps the most popular sport in India. So, it is clear that hockey is struggling to hold on to its status as national sport of the country.

Related article:

Times of India