The Belgians first played an Olympic Games when Antwerp hosted the competition in 1920. Interestingly, the Belgians also won an Olympic medal in hockey even before the Indians did as India were not part of the 1920 Antwerp Games. Four teams competed and Belgium won the bronze medal before the Indians began their six-gold streak from 1928.
In 1928, the Indians thrashed Belgium 9-0 in the group stage and though the Belgians never reached the podium, they kept competing until the 1976 Games in Montreal but went off the Olympic radar for a good 32 years to return in Beijing 2008. Ten years after their reentry, the Belgian Red Lions stunned the hockey world by winning the Olympic silver in Rio.
Now, its a bigger stage than ever before. It's an Olympic semifinal which India has reached for the first time since Munich 1972, hoping to make it to the finals for the first time since 1980 (The Moscow Games did not have a semifinal).
- 3 Aug 2021 3:25 AM GMT
FT🇮🇳2-5🇧🇪— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) August 3, 2021
FULL TIME! @BELRedLions reach the gold medal match for the 2nd Olympics in succession. A hat-trick from Alexander Hendrickx was huge. @TheHockeyIndia were superb, but BEL were just that bit better.
Match info: https://t.co/COFoJsKE3v#Tokyo2020 #Hockey #INDvBEL
- 3 Aug 2021 3:09 AM GMT
56' INDIA NEED A GOAL - BELGIUM KEEP THE BALL - THE CLOCK TICKS DOWN