Indian eves qualify for hockey world cup after a gap of 35 years
Indian women hockey team on Saturday booked their tickets to the 2016 Rio Games, only their second qualifications ever for the Olympics. India’s only previous qualification for the Games was in 1980, where they finished a commendable fourth.
The fifth-place finish at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in July was enough for India to clinch the historic berth as a place opened up after Netherlands and England reached the final of the Euro Hockey Championships in London.
England’s victory over Spain, coming after the Netherlands’ win in the first semifinal meant two teams that have already qualified for the Olympics were in contention for the European Continental title, thus freeing a quota place.
The India women team thus clinched its ticket to Rio through their fifth place finish at the Hockey World League Semifinal in Antwerp. The international hockey federation (FIH) confirmed India’s qualifications on Friday night soon after it emerged that either England or the Netherlands will win the European championships.
India women joined the nine teams already qualified for Rio – Korea as Asian Games champions, Argentina as Pan Am Games champions and Great Britain, China, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and the USA through the Hockey World League Semifinals.
Last time Indian women Hockey team has participated in 1980 at Moscow Olympics, and achived the forth position in the row. England’s semi-final victory over Spain, coming after the Netherlands’ win over Germany in the other semi-final in the European Championships freed one quota place as both the finalists have already qualified for the Olympic Games.