The Indian hockey team was not able to make it to the 2008 Beijing games. This year they qualified but ended up at the very last position. The competition was not tough. It wasn’t event close. The other nations beat down the Indian team like they were amateurs who had never held hockey sticks.
From the first game coming down to the last game, the frustration and the disappointment of the players and the viewers grew all the more. This was the lowest position they occupied and the exasperation showed on all their faces.
Is it the international level of competition that became too challenging for the team? They certainly performed much better at the 2010 commonwealth games. But coming on a bigger ground, with stronger Western nations competing with them, took away the little pride they were carrying from the Commonwealth wins. The last time they were at such a low was back in the year 1996 at the Atlanta Games.
Yes not all the games ended in nil for the Indian team. The players that the country had their hopes high for did score throughout, somewhat consistently. But just the one or two goals were not enough to bring down the doubled scores of the team at front. Both Sandeep Singh and Dharamveer Singh scored for our side in several of the matches but that just wasn’t enough.
38 years ago, in the year 1948 India had bagged a gold medal right at the same venue, in Britain. Since then it has been a downfall for the boys and this time was no exception. Inquiries have now been ordered after the disastrous tour to London.
What went wrong? Was it the coach, the players or the facilities? Was it the administration, the time constraint? There will be investigations and allegations and more than hockey now, blame games will be played just so it can be figured out what went so horribly wrong.
Some have lost hope. The other few who cheered the game have moved on. Hockey stands at a desperate position at the moment and it needs, somehow, a magical makeover.