The Indian hockey teams (both men and women) have a spectacular year to look back to. While the Indian men's hockey team brought glory to the country when they ended a 41-year Olympic medal drought after defeating Germany 5-4 at the Tokyo Games, The Indian women's team, finished at historic fourth place in the Games, with a special win against the mighty Australians.
The year 2021 started on a brighter note for the men's team who fought hard against Germany and Great Britain to finish the four-match European tour with two wins and two draws. They continued their unbeaten run in the Argentina tour, beating the 2016 Olympic champions twice and drawing as many in four practice games. The team also beat Argentina in the two-match FIH Pro League tie. Going into the Olympics, India finished second in pool stages, winning four out of five matches. Though they lost 2-5 against Belgium in the semis, they orchestrated a remarkable comeback and earned a 5-4 win over Germany to clinch the bronze medal.
The Indian women's hockey team also became the reason for delight by achieving many firsts in 2021. From a historic fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics to achieving the best-ever FIH world rankings to sweeping FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2021 in all categories, the year has gone by was nothing short of a fairytale. The Rani Rampal-led side, which started the Olympic campaign with three losses, later pulled off, arguably, one of the biggest upsets in world hockey with a win over mighty Australia in the quarterfinals. But they missed out on an Olympic medal by a whisker after losing 1-2 to Argentina in the semifinals before suffering 3-4 heartbreak at the hands of Great Britain in the bronze medal match. But the fourth-place finish was more than enough to build women's hockey's identity in the country.
Indian women's hockey team
In the men's team, it was Harmanpreet Singh who showcased his prowess with dragflicks, emerged as the highest goalscorer for India with a total of 20 goals. It was followed by the young sensation Dilpreet Singh with seven goals and Rupinder Pal Singh, who hung up his boots post the Olympics had scored six goals.
In the women's hockey team, the leading goalscorer turned out to be the drag flicker and penalty-corner specialist Gurjit Kaur, who racked up six goals, followed by Vandana Katariya with four goals, including a hat-trick at the Olympics. Whereas, captain Rani Rampal and youngster Sharmila each had three goals to their names.
Here's a look at the number of goals scored by individual players:
Harmanpreet: 20, Lalit: 4, Mandeep: 4, Nilakanta: 3, Vivek: 3, Akashdeep: 4, Jarmanpreet: 4, Rajkumar Pal: 2, Varun Kumar: 5, Rupinder: 6, Jaskaran: 1, Shilanand: 1, Surender: 1, Dilpreet: 7, Simranjeet: 3, Gurjant: 3, Shamsher: 2, Hardik: 3, Mandeep Mor: 1, Sumit: 2
Sharmila: 3, Deep Grace: 1, Rani: 3, Salima: 2, Gurjit: 6, Lalremsiami: 1, Navneet: 1 Vandana: 4, Neha: 1