The Indian men’s hockey team has not been great or disappointing with two matches down at the Rio Olympics thus far. It has had a close 3-2 win against Ireland and a close 2-1 loss against Germany. There is still a lot of water that can pass between games so to speak as India are slated to play Argentina, Netherlands and Canada. India are placed third in the table out of six teams and need to finish in the top four to qualify for the knockouts. (Rio 2016 Olympics India Schedule: Olympic Dates,Fixtures & TimeTable of Events in IST)
That is not a very difficult task one has to say and with a win against Canada, India should be looking at a finish in the top four. Of course upsets do happen in sport and one should not take anything for granted. What has been remarkable is India’s pedigree in Olympic hockey. With eight gold medals, it is a part of legend at the Games. But it has been 36 years since the last gold medal. (Rio Olympics 2016: Full list of India’s 120 athletes who qualified this year’s for Rio Olympics)
There is a lot that can happen at these Games and India will think that they will have a chance. This considering that they can somehow squeeze into the knockouts and then with a slice of luck, look forward to going ahead. India have had a spirit about them at these Games. What has been most interesting is the fact that the two matches have been close. They have kept us on the edge and for that spirit alone, the Indian team must be watched closely.
What is also interesting in these Olympics is that the Indian women’s hockey team is in action. We will wait and see how they go about their business as they play more matches but one thing is for sure that they have brought a smile on the faces of many Indian fans. This because they have featured at the Games after 1980 and for that effort alone, they too must be watched closely.
Rio has been talked about as the time when hockey may find a new footing with respect to India. That may not happen but you never know. A little bit of luck and India can do well in the knockouts. It is fair to say that the men are expected to do better than the women for now but anything can happen and time will tell if there are any surprises waiting. We will hope for the very best for both teams.