The Indian Hockey team has achieved their highest-ever world ranking after an impressive display in the group stages at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
India secured yet another fantastic win against the hosts Japan earlier today in their final group game. After taking an early lead, the Indians were pushed to the limit as the Japanese gave it their best to claw their way back into the match.
However, India proved too strong for them and won the match 5-3. The 'Men in Blue' managed to win 4 games out of 5 in Pool A. Their terrific performance helped them seal a spot in the quarterfinals of the Olympics.
India's showing has also helped them climb to their best ever FIH ranking. Coming into the Olympics the team was ranked 4th, but their brilliance in Tokyo has helped them climb to 3rd place.
FIH rankings were introduced in 2003 and since then the Indian team has never been in the top 3. Needless to say, the fans would consider this to be a great sign for Indian hockey.
After a string of disappointments, the men's team is looking like the real deal at the moment. And it could not have come at a better time. They will be hoping to continue their top form in the knockout stages and win India an Olympic hockey medal after a 41-year wait.
Indian hockey team impresses in the group stage of the Olympics
The Indian hockey team was definitely one of the teams to watch out for coming into the Olympics. The mix of experience and youth makes this team one of the favorites to finish on the podium.
Indian hockey is one of the most successful teams in Olympic history. Their last triumph, however, was in 1980. The pressure of winning a medal will definitely be on them, but they have shown outstanding composure to take things one game at a time.
After getting thrashed 7-1 by Australia, India responded brilliantly with a 3-0 win over a tough side like Spain. They continued their brilliance against Argentina, where they put on an impressive performance to get the better of their South American opponents.
While talking about the win against Argentina, Coach Graham Reid said:
“It was a good performance today. This is what Argentina can do, they sit back in the game, and then all of a sudden, they come and score a corner. You know, these things can happen when you play a team like Argentina.”
In their last pool A game, the Indians faced a tough team in Japan. But the Indians turned out to be the better team on the day, and beat the Japanese 4-2.
Next up for India will be Great Britain in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.