India Beat Netherlands In FIH Hockey Pro League Debut


Image courtesy Hockey India

ndia (world no. 5) played two Hockey Pro League matches against Netherlands (world no. 3) at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubanesvar. In a successful Pro League debut, India won both their matches. The results were as follows:

Date Result Goal Scorers - India
Jan 18 India 5 - Netherlands 2 Gurjant Singh (1 min)
Rupinder Pal Singh (12, 46 min), both PCs
Mandeep Singh (34 min)
Lalit Upadhyay (36 min)
Jan 19 India 3 - Netherlands 3 (3-1) Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (25 min)
Mandeep Singh (51 min), PC
Rupinder Pal Singh (55 min), PC

India got 3 points for the win in the first match, and 2 points for the tie + shootout win in the second match. Vivek Sagar Prasad, Gurjant Singh and Akashdeep Singh all scored their penalties in the shoot-out, while Indian goalkeeper P. R. Sreejesh effected some fine saves to earn India the bonus point.

In the first match against Netherlands, Gurjant Singh scored India's first goal just 13 seconds into the game. It was the fastest-ever goal by India, overshadowing Ajit Singh's 15th second strike against Argentina at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

India's next set of matches in the Hockey Pro League are against world no. 2 Belgium (February 8-9) and world no. 1 Australia (February 22-23), thus providing India with valuable match practice against the top 3 teams in the world.

India's 20-member squad for the Hockey Pro League matches against Netherlands was as follows:

Goalkeepers: P R Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak

Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh (vice-captain), Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Gurinder Singh, Khadangbam Kothajeet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (captain), Kangujam Chinglensana Singh, Neelakantha Sharma, Vivek Sagar Prasad

Forwards: Gurjant Singh, Gursahibjeet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Sumit, S. V. Sunil, Akashdeep Singh

Officials: Graham Reid (head coach), Chris Ciriello (analytical coach), Shivendra Singh (coach), Robin Anthony Webster Arkell (scientific advisor)

Indian Women Win Two And Lose Two In New Zealand Tour


India vs. New Zealand, Photograph courtesy Hockey India

he Indian women's hockey team had a tour of New Zealand from 27th January - 5th February, 2020, where they played 3 matches against world no. 6 New Zealand, and 1 match against world no. 5 Great Britain in Auckland.

India won two and lost two, and had the following match results:

Country Date Result Goal Scorers - India
New Zealand Jan 27 New Zealand 2 - India 1 Salima Tete (Late 1st Quarter), PC
  Jan 29 New Zealand 1 - India 0  
  Feb 5 India 3 - New Zealand 0 Navneet Kaur (45, 58 min)
Sharmila Devi (54 min)
Great Britain Feb 4 India 1 - Great Britain 0 Rani Rampal (47 min)

The Indian team for the New Zealand tour was as follows:

Goalkeepers: Savita Punia (vice-captain), Rajani Etimarapu

Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjeet Kaur, Nisha, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete

Midfielders: Leelima Minz, Monika, Namita Toppo, Neha Goyal, Pukhramban Sushila Chanu, Sonika

Forwards: Rani Rampal (captain), Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Udita, Vandana Katariya

Officials: Sjoerd Marijne (head coach), Janneke Schopman (analytical coach), B. S. Ankitha (coach), Wayne Patrick Lombard (scientific advisor)

Services Win 10th Hockey India National Hockey Championship (Men)


Services - National Hockey Champions, photograph courtesy Hockey India

he 10th Hockey India National Hockey Championship 'A' Division (men) was held at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in Jhansi from 23rd January - 2nd February, 2020. 18 teams took part in the championship, and were grouped into the following pools.

  • Pool A: Punjab, Services, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigadh, Tamil Nadu
  • Pool B: Petroleum Sports Control Board, Mumbai, Comptroller & Auditor General of India, Kendriya Reserve Police Bal (CRPF), Kendriya Sachivalaya (Central Secretariat)
  • Pool C: Punjab & Sindh Bank, Hariyana, Canara Bank, Bharatiya Vishvavidyalaya Sangh (AIU)
  • Pool D: Air India, Karnataka, Odisha, Gangpur-Odisha

Services and Air India reached the final of the national hockey championship, with the following results:

Stage Date Services Date Air India
Pool Jan 23 beat Uttar Pradesh 5-1 Jan 25 drew with Odisha 1-1
  Jan 24 beat Tamil Nadu 3-1 Jan 27 beat Karnataka 3-2
  Jan 25 beat Punjab 4-0 Jan 28 drew with Gangpur-Odisha 1-1
  Jan 27 beat Chandigadh 5-2    
Quarters Jan 29 beat Mumbai 1-0 Jan 30 beat Hariyana 2-1
Semis Feb 1 beat Punjab & Sindh Bank 2-0 Feb 1 beat Petroleum Sports Promotion Board 5-3
Final Feb 2 beat Air India 3-1

Petroleum Sports Promotion Board beat Punjab & Sindh Bank 3-1 to finish 3rd.

10th Hockey India National Hockey Championship (Women) In Kollam


Services - National Hockey Champions, photograph courtesy Hockey India

he 10th Hockey India National Hockey Championship 'A' Division (women) is being held at Kollam, Kerala, from 30th January - 9th February, 2020. 18 teams are taking part in the championship, and have been grouped into the following pools.

  • Pool A: Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Odisha, Hockey Him
  • Pool B: Hariyana, Karnataka, Gangpur-Odisha, Rajasthan, Bharatiya Khel Praadhikaran (SAI)
  • Pool C: Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chandigadh
  • Pool D: Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy, Chattisgadh, Kendriya Reserve Police Bal (CRPF)

The quarter-final lineup is as follows: Madhya Pradesh vs. Bharatiya Khel Praadhikaran (SAI), Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy vs. Punjab, Hariyana vs. Odisha and Maharashtra vs. Jharkhand.

The semi-finals will be held on 8th February and the championship game on 9th February.

Rani Rampal Wins World Games Athlete Of The Year Award


Photograph credit The Olympic Channel

ndian women's hockey captain Rani Rampal has won the International World Games Association's 6th Athlete of the Year award. The association said in a statement, "Indian hockey superstar Rani is the World Games Athlete of the Year 2019! Huge congratulations! With an impressive number of votes, 199,477, Rani is the clear winner of the Athlete of the Year race. All in all, over 705,610 votes were cast during the poll,"

Rani is the first-ever hockey player, and the first-ever Indian to win the prestigious global award.

International World Games Association President Jose Perurena said, "Rani is an inspirational athlete and a role model for many in India. It was amazing to see the support the Indians, even as high up as Mr Rijiju, the Minister of State, Youth Affairs and Sports gave to her in this vote, together with the hockey fans all around the world. This is what sport is about: uniting people from different backgrounds and different countries."

There were initially 25 athletes, male and female, who were nominated by their respective sports federations. It was later reduced to 10 in the final round of public voting.

Rani has been a member of the national team since she was a mere 15-year-old back in 2008, and currently has more than 240 caps for her country. She was instrumental in the Indian women's hockey team qualifying for back-to-back Olympic Games for the first time. She scored the winning goal in the Olympic Qualifier match against USA in Bhubanesvar in November 2019 that gave India the ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Photograph of the Month


Photograph courtesy One Thousand Hockey Legs

he Photograph of the Month for February 2020 is of the newly unveiled mascot of the Delhi-based NGO One Thousand Hockey Legs (OTHL). Three living legends of hockey - Olympic gold medalists Harbinder Singh and M. K. Kaushik, along with World Cup gold medallist H. J. S. Chimni together unveiled the OTHL mascot, named Chhota Cheetah at the historic Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

OTHL is the flagship program of Hockey Citizen Group, founded by hockey historian K. Arumugam and his friends in 2008 to create career opportunities through sport for the under-privileged sections of Indian society, in the age group of 10 to 18.

The NGO organised its annual Sporting Month Program at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium. Starting 20th Dec, 8-10 matches were held every day for different age-group categories of teams. A total of 242 matches were held during the month, with the finals taking place on 15th January.

The NGO received Hockey India president's Outstanding Achievement Award in 2015 and President of India's Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar in 2016.

Money Matters


Image courtesy AFP

ockey India contributed USD 25,000 to their Australian counterparts to raise funds for the victims of the devastating bushfires Down Under. Hockey India also donated signed national team jerseys which will be put for auction and the proceeds will be used through Red Cross to help those affected by the wildfires.

Hockey Australia has expressed its gratitude in a letter to the Hockey India president Mohammad Mushtaque Ahmed.

"On behalf of the Board and Management of Hockey Australia, we really appreciate your support towards Hockey Australia's fundraising efforts for the recent bushfires. The signed India team jerseys will soon be included on our auction platform, and there is no doubt that the generous support of USD 25,000 towards the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal will be very well received," the letter said.

Hockey Australia said Hockey India's gesture will reinforce "the strength of relationships between Australia and India including our shared love for the sport of hockey."

The bushfires raging in Australia since September 2019 have affected millions of acres of land, destroyed more than 2,500 homes, killed more than 30 people, and millions of animals have perished in the fires.

Media Matters


new streaming service dedicated to Olympic sports in being launched in the United Kingdom after this year's Tokyo Olympics.

The British Olympic Association (BOA), British Paralympic Association (BPA) and UK Sport are joining forces with over 20 national governing bodies to launch GB Sport Media, an over-the-top (OTT) broadcast platform that will deliver the streaming content.

The media venture has been in development for nearly two years, during which time over 2,600 hours of content across 26 Olympic and Paralympic sports have already been secured. Former BBC and Discovery executive Dominic Coles has been appointed as the chair of GB Sport Media.

Jon Cockcroft, GB and England Hockey Commercial Director and GB Sport Media Board Member said, "As the consumption of sports content changes, this collaboration is a game-changing opportunity to grow the audiences of Olympic and Paralympic Sport outside Games time. Through GB Sport Media, we're looking forward to showcasing the skills and spirit of international and domestic hockey, better connecting fans with the stars of our sport and inspiring more young people to pick up a stick."

The concept was developed in partnership with advertising network Omnicom Group, led by its sports consultancy Fuse.

Fun With Numbers


Statistics by B. G. Joshi

he February 2020 edition of Fun with Numbers is on the German men's and women's records in Olympic hockey.

German Men's Olympic Record

  • There are multiple Germanys that took part in Olympic men's hockey over the years:
    • 1908 - 1936: Unified Germany
    • 1952 - 1960: Federal Republic of Germany (FRG)
    • 1964: German Democratic Republic - GDR (they defeated FRG in a 3-match playoff to qualify for the Olympics)
    • 1968: Both FRG and GDR participated separately in men's hockey
    • 1972 - 1988: Federal Republic of Germany
    • 1992 - present: Unified Germany
  • For the purposes of this article, GDR's record in the 1964 and 1968 Olympic men's hockey competition is not included in the table below
  • Germany was the nation that broke the stranglehold of India and Pakistan in Olympic men's hockey. These two sub continental rivals had won all Olympic men's hockey gold for 4 decades (1928-68), before Germany won the Olympic men's hockey gold in the 1972 Olympics
  • After India (8 Olympic gold), Germany has the second best record in Olympic men's hockey, with 4 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals
  • Germany is one of 4 countries to have won Olympic hockey gold medals in successive Olympics. The other countries are Great Britain, India and Netherlands
Year Venue P W L D GF GA Captain Coach Rank
1908 London 2 1 1 0 1 4 Alfons Brehm Alfons Brehm 5
1928 Amsterdam 4 3 1 0 11 3 Theodor Haag Georg Richter 3
1936 Berlin 4 3 1 0 14 9 Erich Zander Detmar Wette 2
1952 Helsinki 5 4 1 0 20 4 Wilfried Grube Kutti Weiss 5
1956 Melbourne 5 2 1 2 8 6 Hugo Budinger Ernst Ludwig 3
1960 Rome 5 2 3 0 11 4 Eberhard Ferst Ernst Ludwig 7
1968 Mexico City 9 5 3 1 16 8 Klaus Greinert Hugo Budinger 4
1972 Munich 9 8 0 1 21 5 Carsten Keller Werner Delmes 1
1976 Montreal 6 3 2 1 22 13 Fritz Schmidt Klaus Kleiter 5
1984 Los Angeles 7 4 2 1 14 6 Michael Peter Klaus Kleiter 2
1988 Seoul 7 5 1 1 16 7 Heiner Dopp Klaus Kleiter 2
1992 Barcelona 7 6 0 1 20 6 Volker Fried Paul Lissek 1
1996 Atlanta 7 3 3 1 13 9 Klaus Michler Paul Lissek 4
2000 Sydney 7 4 1 2 17 8 Chris Mayerhöfer Paul Lissek 5
2004 Athens 7 4 1 2 21 12 Florian Kunz Bernhardt Peter 3
2008 Beijing 7 4 0 3 14 7 Timo Wess Markus Weise 1
2012 London 7 5 1 1 20 14 Maxim Mueller Markus Weise 1
2016 Rio de Janeiro 8 5 1 2 23 18 Moritz Furste V. Altenburg 3
Total 18 Olympics 113 71 23 19 282 143 Medals: 4 Gold, 3 Silver, 4 Bronze

German Women's Olympics Record

  • Markus Weise has the unique record of the Golden Hat Trick in Olympic hockey coaching
  • Markus coached the German women's team to gold in the 2004 Olympics, and then coached the German men's team to gold in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics
Year Venue P W L D GF GA Captain Coach Rank
1984 Los Angeles 5 2 1 2 9 9 Susi Schmid Wolfgang Strodter 2
1988 Seoul 5 3 2 0 9 9 Dagmar Bremer Wolfgang Strodter 5
1992 Barcelona 5 3 1 1 10 5 Susanne Wollschläger Rudiger Hanel 2
1996 Atlanta 7 2 4 1 10 11 Franziska Hentschel Berthold Routh 6
2000 Sydney 6 3 1 2 11 8 Katrin Kauschke Berthold Routh 5
2004 Athens 6 3 2 1 8 11 Marion Rodewald Markus Weise 1
2008 Beijing 7 4 3 0 15 14 Marion Rodewald Michael Behrmann 4
2012 London 6 3 2 1 10 8 Fanny Rinne Michael Behrmann 7
2016 Rio de Janeiro 8 4 2 2 11 9 Hannah Kruger Jamilon Mulders 3
Total 9 Olympics 55 27 18 10 93 84 Medals: 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze