Today's News of India
Olympic hockey: India heading for lowest finishAugust 6, 2012 12:48:50 IST
London : India will have to reconcile to playing for positions ninth to 12th and their result against Belgium on Tuesday would be of no consequence in the Olympic men’s hockey competition.
With four defeats in as many matches, the Indian can at best hope to avoid a “clean sweep” of losses when they face a confident Belgium who qualified as the fourth placed team in the European Championships.
Thus, it can be said with certainty that India will be “achieving” their lowest position ever in the Olympics, the previous worst being eighth in the 1996 Games at Atlanta.
The current depressing scenario of the Indian hockey team here only serves to highlight misplaced expectations and hopes generated by all the hype and hoopla after qualifying for the Olympics in February.
On the morrow, the task before India is doubly difficult considering that Belgium, bronze medalists at the 1920 Games that they hosted in Antwerp, would be highly motivated to finish in the 5-8 bracket for the first time since 1956.
Even otherwise, India have never been comfortable playing Belgium whose man-to-man marking and a defensive posture can test the best of forwards.
Though the teams have met on many occasions in the recent times, Tuesday’s clash would be only the third in the Olympics with India having won 2-1 in 1968 and 9-0 in 1928.
Belgium, coached by Aussie legend Colin Batch, seemed to have had better preparations since qualifying for the Olympics by finishing fourth in the Euro championship where they beat silver medalists at the 2008 Games, Spain, 3-2 after trailing 0-2 at half-time.
Also, Belgium beat Argentina in a three-Test series and later drew with Spain and Olympic champions Germany in a four-nation tournament.
Skipper Maxime Luycx, a veteran of over 300 internationals, has already stated that Belgium, also known as the Red Devils, are keen to make up for the debacle in Beijing where the players were distracted by the return to the Olympics after a lapse of 32 years.
For India, it would be a question of playing for their pride if nothing else, but they are currently down in the dumps morale-wise, while the Belgians can draw inspiration from their performances against Korea whom they beat 2-1 and New Zealand (1-1).
Team India coach Michael Nobbs has publicly expressed his disappointment over the performance of the senior players, but it is also indicative of the Aussie’s inability to ensure the plans worked out at the team meeting are executed on the field.
Whatever, the situation for India cannot get any worse, but if they could win their remaining three games (one league and two classification), they can head back home in a better shape.
Do you like this story? Do thumb up here.
No CommentsPrevious News Story
SC refuses to interfere in Yeddyurappa bail caseNext News Story
Fiza Mohammed commits suicide
Pakistani plane forced to land near London, two held
London : Britain had to scramble fighter jets Friday… [more]
Pleasure to lead Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid
Kolkata : Despite having gone down to the Mumbai Indians… [more]
Pressure mounts on Srinivasan to resign, Gurunath faces questioning
Hyderabad/Mumbai/New Delhi : The clamour for Indian… [more]
Jet Airway’s shareholders approve Etihad deal
Mumbai : Jet Airways Friday said its shareholders… [more]
24 May 2013 (Q2) : MI stutter past RR to book IPL final berth
Kolkata : Kolkata, May 25 (IANS) Notwithstanding a… [more]
Ankita Lokhande back in ‘Pavitra Rishta’, co-stars happy
Actress Ankita Lokhande, who played Archana in popular… [more]
Ishkq In Paris Movie Review : 4 out of 5 Stars
Film: "Ishkq In Paris"; Cast: Preity Zinta, Rhehan… [more]