The first non-European team to become a part of the International Hockey Federation was India Men’s National Field Hockey Team. With their remarkable performance, the Indian team earned their first gold medal in Olympics in 1928. The team didn’t let any other country to win until 1960. They achieved a total of 6 gold medals in a row. The team also had a winning streak of 30-0 during that time but lost it when they got defeated in the final of 1960. In 1975, the team took the World Cup to their homeland. With eight gold medals, one silver & two bronze, Indian Men’s Hockey team is known as the most victorious team in the Olympics.
After winning the gold medal in the Olympics 1980, the Indian Hockey team lost their charm as their performance declined. In the next three years, the team did not perform well and as a result, the team failed to earn a medal at the World Cup & Olympics.
After a long break, the Indian Hockey Team shook hands with victory again. In 2016, the team earned its first silver medal in Champions trophy. For the first time in 36 years, they successfully qualified for the knockout stage of the Olympics. Till 2018, the Indian team was standing strongly in the 5th rank in the world. From 2018, Odisha Government decided to sponsor the Indian National Hockey Team for five years.
PERFORMANCES OF INDIA MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM
The sport, Hockey, made its debut at the Olympics in London. At that time, India barely knew anything about the particular sport. At the initial stage, the Indian team didn’t give good performances and the captain of the team, Jaipal Singh, was blamed for their losses. Disappointed Jaipal Singh walked out of the Indian team & Eric Pinninger took over the captainship.
Under new leadership, the Indian team managed to earn a gold medal in the Olympics 1928 that was held in Amsterdam. With the victory, the Indian team took their first step towards the hockey throne. Indian team’s performance in the Olympics not only won them a medal but the team also received applauds from all over the world.
- 1932 OLYMPICS
After winning a gold medal in 1932, the Indian team had to face unexpected situations at the 1936 Olympics in Los Angeles. Indian team found itself in difficulties by groupism when Lal Shah Bokhari was named captain ahead of Eric Pinniger. But despite the troubles & bickering in the team, India Men’s Hockey Team earned their second gold medal.
- 1936 OLYMPICS
Unlike the 1932 Olympics, the Indian team achieved another victory at the 1936 Olympics without any drama. Indian hockey team won all three league matches & defeated France in the semi-finals. In the final match, the team earned the gold medal by defeating Germany in Berlin, Germany. This victory gave a hat-trick to Indian Men’s Hockey Team.
- 1948 OLYMPICS
The Indian Hockey Team played the 1948 Olympics in London, following the conclusion of World War II & one year after the partition. The Indian Hockey Federation formed a whole new team as India & Pakistan decided to form two different teams. So, the 1948 Olympics witnessed the debut of a new team. However, the record of winning four gold medals in a row gave back smiles to the individuals who were helpless to frame their life after the partition.
- 1952 OLYMPICS
Before performing in the 1952 Olympics, there was controversy against the Indian Hockey Team that with a bunch of no-hopers, the team will return from Finland empty-handed. Despite all the controversies written by critics, the Indian Hockey Team successfully sealed the gold medal in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
- 1956 OLYMPICS
Indian Hockey Team did not manage to concede a goal throughout the tournament to match their performance in the 1928 Olympics record. Surprisingly, the Indian team won another gold medal at Melbourne, Australia, that became their six in a row.
- 1960 OLYMPICS
Between 1928 & 1980, the Indian Hockey Team earned eight gold medals with their glorious performances at the Olympics. In the 1960 Olympics, Indian Men’s Hockey Team was defeated by Pakistan that ended up Indian team’s run of six successive victories. While India earned a silver medal, Spain won a bronze medal in Rome, Italy.
- 1964 OLYMPICS
Indian Men’s Hockey Team re-established their dominion by a solitary goal in the 1964 Olympics final. The team regained the title they had held from 1928 to 1960. Indian team wrested back their Hockey crown from Pakistan after an exciting match. And this became the Indian hockey team’s seventh gold medal at the Olympics.
- 1968 OLYMPICS
For the first time in the history of the Olympics, Indian Men’s Hockey Team performed really poor. The unnecessary arguments of Gurbux Singh & Prithipal Singh directly affected the team’s performance altogether. But despite their failure as a team, the Indian Men’s Hockey Team didn’t return to their homeland empty-handed as they clinched a bronze medal in Mexico City, Mexico.
- 1972 OLYMPICS
Indian Men’s Hockey Team’s golden glory was fading slowly. Indian team witnessed another disappointing match despite some good performances in the league phase. Once again Indian team had to compromise with a bronze medal due to their performance.
- 1976 OLYMPICS
In the 1976 Olympics, it was proved that the golden era of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team was ended. In Montreal, Canada, the New Zealand team won the gold medal that was his international debut and shockingly ended up in the seventh position.
- 1980 OLYMPICS
After an awful period, the Indian Hockey Team sank Spain for the gold medal. Despite the Indian Team found it difficult to find its touch but they ended up winning their eighth gold medal in Moscow, USSR.
- 2016 OLYMPICS
Indian Hockey Team was in the fourth position in the group stage with two wins, one draw & two losses at the 2016 Olympics that were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After the Moscow Olympics in 1980, the Indian team has experienced a downward and failed to win a single medal till 2016. As of now, Indian Men’s Hockey Team has set their eyes on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
- Appearances- 20 (first in 1928)
- Best Result- 1st (1928, 1932, 1936 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1980)
- Appearances- 14 (first in 1971)
- Best Result- 1ST (1975)
- Appearances- 16 (first in 1958)
- Best Result- 1ST (1966, 1998, 2014)
- Appearances- 10 (first in 1982)
- Best Result- 1ST (2003, 2007, 2017)
Nickname: Men in Blue, Bharat Army
Association: Hockey India
Confederation: ASHF (Asia)
Coach: Graham Reid
Manager: Arjun Halappa
Captain: Manpreet Singh