Ahead of Rio Olympics, Indian men’s team leap to fifth position in FIH World Hockey Ranking

Sardar Singh led Indian Men hockey team for Commonwealth GamesNew Delhi: India jumped to fifth place in the latest FIH Hero World Rankings released by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday.

With no changes in the top three spots, Australia is at number 1, followed by Netherlands ranked second and Germany third. Great Britain hold to the 4th place, with Belgium at 6th and Argentina at 7th.

This upward drift in the ranking graph is a big boost to India ahead of the all-important Olympic Games.

2016 has been all about revival of Indian Hockey – a year of stunning transformation. As all roads lead to Rio this year, the signs look bright for the Indian Hockey teams thanks to their hard work and good show at the latest International tournaments.

India entered the Finals of the FIH Champions Trophy for the first time in 38 years / 36 editions -- the earlier best achievement in this tournament was a Bronze way back in 1982 at Amsterdam. The silver medal win, therefore, is being considered as one of the most notable performances in the recent years.
From a tournament where all the opponents (Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium) had a higher ranking than India, the team’s performance took everyone by surprise and received praises from all over the world.

In the tournament, India witnessed the rise of dazzling talent from the young squad who proved their mettle like Harmanpreet Singh who was adjudged the Best Upcoming Player of the Tournament.

Even in the absence of seasoned players the team displayed enormous maturity and courage that showed the amount of dedication put in by the young and senior players alike.

The current Indian Hockey team has increased the aspirations in the country for a medal win at the Rio Olympics 2016. This team has been called the fittest, most unified and best the nation has had in the past few decades.

There have been a lot a positive developments that act as a catalyst to further build our hopes for Rio – be it the Bronze medal at the 2015 Hockey World League finals, Women’s team qualification for the Olympic birth after a long gap of 36 years, Silver medal at the 25th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia and the recent Silver medal win at the FIH Champions Trophy.

“I am really proud of the team to have come such a long way from where we were in such a short span of time. However, there is still a long way to go and all I tell the players is to keep the focus intact on the greater goal that is to reclaim the glory of Indian Hockey. All efforts are channelized towards earning a podium finish at the Olympics this year. Undeniably, each and every player and member has put in a lot of hard work to achieve this. We take motivation from the success and keep moving forward to better every time,” said Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad Secretary General Hockey India.

Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad continued, “Hockey India congratulations the Indian Men Team on the achievement of obtaining the 5th position in the FIH World Rankings and we hope they continue to find success on the world stage.”

Courtesy: http://hockeyindia.org/