DH Latest NewsDH NEWSLatest NewsIndependence DayChanging IndiaIndiaNEWSSports

75 years of independence: Iconic moments from Indian sports – Indian hockey team wins gold at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics

Indian hockey team wins gold at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics

The buildup to the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 resembled a national crusade. The team had had another setback when it was defeated by Pakistan at the 1962 Asian Games. There were worries that India was giving up its hegemony to its new neighbour.

Charanjit Singh, a star midfielder, was named squad captain for Tokyo.

India’s campaign

Contrary to the previous Olympics, the six-time champion did not have complete control of the situation during the preliminary games in Tokyo. A surprising new experience for the strong Indians came when it was tied 1-1 twice, first by East Germany and subsequently by Spain.

The other pool matches were no cakewalks either. Belgium and Malaysia were beaten 2-0 and 3-1 respectively, and the Netherlands edged out 2-1. Things were easier against Canada (3-0) while Hong Kong was trounced 6-0.

Nevertheless, it won the pool with 12 points, ahead of Spain, which came in second place and advanced to the semifinals by one point.

India overcame Australia 3-1 in the semifinal match, while Pakistan defeated Spain 3-0 with relative ease.

Pakistan entered the final as the favourite to retain its championship on October 23 at Komaza Park.

Up until that point, Prithipal Singh held the record for most goals scored with 10, while Harbinder had five. But just as in Rome, the two Asian titans would be separated by one goal in the championship game. However, Mohinder Lal, an Indian, scored the game-winning goal this time.

In the fifth minute of the second half, there was a break in the tie. A penalty corner went to India. In the ensuing set-piece, Munir Ahmed Dar of Pakistan stopped the shot with his foot. For the ensuing penalty shot, Mohinder Lal stepped up and rammed the ball past Pakistani goalkeeper Abdul Hamid.

The Pakistanis redoubled their efforts in response to the goal. The quick-footed Mohammad Afzal Manna led wave after wave of assaults that put the Indians on the back foot. But the Indians managed to hang on for dear life, in large part because of the famous goalie Shankar Laxman’s unmatched abilities, who excelled under pressure.


Post Your Comments

Back to top button