The Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams achieved their best-ever world rankings after their historic outing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They are placed number 3 and 8, respectively.
The Indian men’s team ended a 41-year-old medal wait by clinching a historic bronze in the Olympics. In the current ranking, they are placed behind gold-medallist Belgium and silver-medallist Australia.
“It’s the reward of all the hard work and dedication towards the game we love, towards the game which has given us everything,” said Indian men’s team captain Manpreet Singh.
“This ranking and the Olympic medal after 41 years mark the rise of Indian Hockey…there is no looking back now, we have set the benchmark for ourselves and would like to grow from here,” he added.
The women’s team, on the other hand, missed out on a bronze medal after losing 3-4 to Great Britain in a seven-goal thriller. They were tantalisingly close to a historic Olympic medal but finished fourth at the Summer Games.
“We were very close to finishing on the podium, and it is hurting the team that we didn’t. However, looking at the bright side, we have made remarkable progress in recent years, and I am really proud of it,” women’s team captain Rani Rampal said.
“Finishing in the top four at Olympics, and climbing to the 8th position in world rankings, is a very big thing for us, and this has boosted our confidence, it will certainly help us grow going forward,” she said.
The Indian men’s team, led by Manpreet Singh, finished second in Pool A by winning four out of five group stage matches.
The men’s team staged a remarkable comeback to grab a 5-4 win over Germany to clinch a historic bronze medal at Olympic Games.
“I must admit, I feel privileged to have played a part in the rise of Indian Hockey. It’s a great feeling that we won the historic Bronze Medal as well as achieving the highest ranking on the back of our solid performance in the Olympics,” Indian men’s team chief coach Graham Reid said.
“We played like a unit, with the right kind of attitude, and I think that has helped the team achieve this feat,” he added.
Outgoing Indian women’s team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said, “Achieving 8th rank in the world ranking and finishing among the top four at Olympics, is a big step for Indian Women’s hockey, and I think every team will definitely take us seriously.
“The athletes have that desire to learn and improve each and every day, and I feel this is one of the biggest reasons why we could finish among the top four,” he added.