Hangzhou, 6th October 2023: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team on Friday picked up a stunning 5-1 win over the defending Champions Japan at the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 to claim the Gold medal in the prestigious tournament and confirm a spot for the 2024 Paris Olympics. This is India’s fourth Gold medal in Men’s Field Hockey at the Asian Games. India had previously won the Gold medal in 1966, 1998, and in 2014. Indian Men’s Hockey Team forward Sukhjeet Singh earned his 50th International Cap in the match against Japan. Harmanpreet Singh (32′, 59′), Manpreet Singh (25′), Amit Rohidas (36′), and Abhishek (48′) scored the goals for India in the Final. Seren Tanaka (51′) scored the sole goal for Japan.
~ Manpreet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, and Abhisek scored the goals for India in the Final ~
~ Hockey India announced Rs 5.00 Lakh to each player, and Rs 2.50 Lakh each for support staff ~
For their dominant performance and the all-important victory, Hockey India announced a prize of Rs 5.00 Lakhs for each player of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team, along with Rs 2.50 Lakhs each for the support staff.
The match began with India in attack as Hardik Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh combined on the left flank to try and stitch a dangerous move, but the duo were stopped in their tracks by the men in red. With both India and Japan trying to play on the counter-attacks, the contest turned into a game of tight passes in the midfield area. A late penalty corner saw Harmanpreet Singh hammering a thunderous flick on target but Japan goalkeeper Takumi Kitagawa made the save and the score remained 0-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter started with India earning an early penalty corner to earn a chance to get off the mark. But after a stunning variation on the set-piece, the final shot by Amit Rohidas went just above the goalpost. India started gaining momentum as they stretched Japanese defenders across the length of the pitch. Manpreet Singh (25′) finally broke the threshold as he slammed a powerful reverse hit into the nets after picking up a loose ball inside the circle and India went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
As soon as the second half began, Japan put a foot on the pedal in search of an equalizer. But Hardik Singh’s magnificent long pass inside the circle to Abhishek in the circle brought the Japanese defenders back to their half. Harmanpreet Singh (32′) made the most of a string of penalty corners as India doubled their lead to take control of the proceedings. Minutes later, Amit Rohidas (36′) slammed a powerful flick towards the nets from another penalty corner to make it 3-0 for India, as errors in defence started costing Japan. Despite a three-goal lead, India maintained a full press on the Japanese defence, not allowing the opposition any room to make a move of their own as the third quarter came to a close.
India continued to put pressure on Japan as Abhisek (48′) tapped the ball into the nets early on in the final quarter to make it 4-0 for his side. Japan earned a penalty corner of their own after building a move from the right flank, and Seren Tanaka (51′) managed to score to get Japan on the board. Japan tried to mount a late attack but India defended in numbers. Harmanpreet Singh (59′) hammered another goal at the stroke of the final whistle as India won the match 5-1 to claim the Gold medal.
Speaking on India’s massive win, Hockey India President Padma Shri Dr. Dilip Tirkey said, “It has been a long wait of 9 years for India to claim the Asian Games Gold medal. We are proud of each and every member of the team and the support staff for their contribution to achieving yet another milestone for the nation in world hockey. This is only the start of the road to the 2024 Paris Olympics and we are confident our team will continue to rise even more in the coming year. Congratulations to all the players and the coaches for a memorable victory in Hangzhou.”
Hockey India Secretary General Shri Bhola Nath Singh added, “India’s Gold medal win in Hangzhou is a testament to the months of hard work that was put in the National Coaching Camps over the past year. Each and every member of the team and the coaching staff gave their all in helping us win the Gold medal at the Asian Games and securing a spot for the 2024 Paris Olympics. I congratulate the Indian Men’s Hockey Team for an outstanding display in the tournament and also offer my best wishes to all the members of the team for the coming future.”
The matches were broadcast live on Sony Sports Network and live stream on Sony Liv.
HOCKEY INDIA TEAM PARTNERS
Odisha (India’s Best Kept Secret) – Major Team Partner
Sports Authority of India (SAI)
About HOCKEY INDIA
HOCKEY INDIA (HI) is the governing body with exclusive mandate to direct and conduct all activities for both men and women’s hockey in India. It is recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India as the sole body responsible towards promoting Hockey in India.
Headquartered in New Delhi, Hockey India was established on 20th May, 2009 and is affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
Committed to the development of Hockey in the country, Hockey India with the assistance of Sports Authority of India and Department of Sports, Government of India, trains players at sub-junior, junior and senior level. The governing body engages in Coaching the coaches with International Standard certification programs, educates and equips technical officials and umpires to find a foothold in international arena, provides world-class infrastructure and International exposure for the players besides regular international competition. Hockey India has also pioneered in bringing top International hockey events to India such as the FIH Men’s World Cup in 2010 and 2018, FIH Champions Trophy in 2014, FIH Junior Men’s World Cup in 2016 and 2021, FIH Hockey World League Final in 2017. With its vision to popularize the game and constantly promote it, Hockey India brought the Indian Men’s Hockey Team into the top three in the world. Hockey India is also dedicated to getting the Indian Women’s Hockey Team into the top three in the world.
Odisha – the Eastern State of India – is known for its love for Hockey and over the years it has evolved to be the Global Hub of Hockey. The State successfully hosted the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, followed by the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha, FIH Olympic Qualifiers Odisha, and FIH Hockey Pro League 2020-21. Odisha has previously hosted the Champions Trophy 2014 and the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017. Odisha also hosted the FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup in 2021.
Kalinga Lancers, the team owned by the State, were the winners in the Hockey India League 2017. Taking a step further towards realising the dream of restoring the glory of Indian Hockey at the global level, the State is sponsoring the Indian Hockey Teams till 2033.
Odisha also hosted the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023.