The 14th edition of the Men's Hockey World Cup will be held in Bhubaneswar from 28th November to 16th December 2018. This is the most prestigious tournament, in the game of field hockey, after the Olympics. The first edition of the Hockey World Cup was held in 1971, in Barcelona, Spain. The tournament was initially held after every two years. But from 1982 onward, it is held after every 4 years.
In the inaugural edition of the tournament in 1971, Pakistan came out victorious by beating hosts Spain in the final. In the 13 previous editions of the tournament held so far, as many as five countries have won the tournament and 11 countries have managed to finish in the top 3.
In this article, we look at the five most successful teams in the history of this tournament.
The Indian hockey team has a glorious past, with as many as 8 Olympic Gold medals in their kitty, which is till date a record. However in the World Cup, India's record has been below par. They have managed to win the tournament, only once, in 1975, in Malaysia.
In the 1975 finals, India beat their arch rivals, Pakistan by 2-1 margin, to win the title. In 1973, they managed to reach the finals, but could not win it. They were beaten by hosts Netherlands, by 4-2 margin, in penalty shootout. In the 1st edition of the tournament, India finished third, after losing out to Pakistan in the semifinals.
However in the last ten editions of the tournament, India has failed to win a single medal. With the emergence of countries like Germany, Netherlands, Australia, England and Argentina, Indian hockey team lost its supremacy. However in the last few years, the Indian team is again making a comeback. They are back among the top five hockey nations.
With home advantage in their favour, India can definitely hope to win a medal in the upcoming 2018 edition.
World Cup Titles: 1 (1975); Runners-up: 1 (1973); Third Place: 1 (1971)
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