“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.” The National game of India and the game which brought the most number of gold medals in Olympics might have lost its reputation. Once again the time has come to cheer for our game, our nation and support them to achieve what they are capable of. After the Indian Women pulled off a Bronze, it’s time for our men to add yet another feather in their cap. The Indian Men went on to win a crunching semi-final match against the highest ranked Asian team and the hosts South Korea to set a thrilling final against the arch rivals Pakistan. The team will surely have their eyes on yet another Asian Games gold medal, the last one being a long back in 1998.
Hockey is not just a game for us but it’s a matter of honour and pride. Dhyan Chand, probably the greatest hockey player of all time led Indian team to the topmost level and made it the most dominating team in Field Hockey. It wasn’t cricket, it was hockey that brought laurels for us at the world level and proved our dominance over the other nations.
Talking about Asian games, India last won a Gold medal in 1998 when they defeated South Korea in the finals. Pakistan has been the most consistent team in the games with eight gold medals whereas India being on the losing side but now our team has got a great chance to repay when they face them after 32 years in Men’s hockey final. India and Pakistan had last played in the men’s hockey final at the Quadrennial Continental Games way back in 1982 at New Delhi’s Dhyan Chand Stadium.
Pakistan, on the other hand, are the defending champions who are gunning for their ninth gold in the competition since 1958 when hockey made its debut in Tokyo. A lot is at stake for both teams, apart from the highest honour of clinching the gold, and the match is expected to be a humdinger. Their coach Shahnaz Sheikh made a strong statement by saying “It should be a very good final against India. We will be ready for them.”
All we can do now is just hope that India defeats Pakistan in yet another high voltage match which will not only bring smile on millions of faces but also secure a direct entry in 2016 Rio Olympics.