In a dramatic end to a successful tournament, India won silver medal and hearts of hockey fans throughout. India lost in the shootout to Australia after ending the game 0-0 at regulation time in their maiden appearance in the final of Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 in London. Earlier in the day, Germany edged past Great Britain to win the bronze medal thanks to a solitary strike from tournament top scorer Marco Miltkau.
India entered the tournament as underdogs and using tournament for preparations of Rio Olympics and started on high note with holding Olympic Germany for 3-3 draw and defeated hosts Great Britain by 2-1 for first time in last 4 decade at their home soil. India had heart break when they lost to Belgium by 2-1 and then came back in tournament with win against Korea by 2-1 and commendable performance against Australia in their last pool game (2-4). Thanks to draw between GB and Belgium in last pool match, India reached final against Australia.
A pulsating grand finale game finished with the score locked at 0-0, although it had been packed full of drama. Australia’s Blake Govers missed a penalty stroke, while India were dominant in the third and fourth quarter before losing the shoot-out.
Following an official protest from India against a situation which occurred in the shoot-out, there was a delay in the official confirmation of the result. The protest – in relation to an unintentional foul that had lead to the shoot-out being retaken – was rejected by the Technical Delegate.
The FIH would like to express appreciation to the teams, media and fans for their patience and understanding of the need to follow due process in line with the competition regulations. The FIH would particularly like to thank the Indian team for graciously accepting the outcome, and congratulate Australia on claiming their 14th Champions Trophy title.
Hockey India, the apex body for hockey in India announced a cash prize of Rs. 2 Lakh each for the players and the Head Coach Roelant Oltmans and a cash prize of Rs 1 Lakh for all other coaches and support staff on the account of the brilliant performance India displayed throughout the tournament and winning a silver medal.
Additionally, prize of Rs 1 Lakh has been announced for Harmanpreet Singh for being adjudged as The Best Upcoming Junior Player of the Tournament.
On the thrilling performance by Team India, Hockey India President Dr. Narinder Batra congratulated the team, “It is a proud moment for all of us. The way the team has played against World Champions Australia is commendable. I congratulate the players, the coaches and the support staff for their hard work and dedication. I believe we are on the right track for road to RIO.”
In the meanwhile, social media & twitterati on Saturday was a buzz with India’s silver-medal winning feat at the very stadium they were ousted during the London Olympics in 2012. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi ,Rajyavardhan Rathore, Anurag Thakur, Ajay Maken, Naveen Jindal to cricketing heroes VVS Laxman, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan were amongst many other eminent personalities took to Twitter to applaud the hockey team’s gritty performance. “Congrats to our Hockey Team for a spirited performance in Champions Trophy finals. Their effort has been brilliant. We’re proud of the team,” read the honourable PM’s tweet.
The Indian Hockey team leaves from London for 6 Nations Invitational Tournament in Valencia, Spain starting from 27th June 2016.