1948 London Olympics
Thirteen teams took part in this Olympic and they were clubbed in three groups. Group A featured India, Argentina, Austria and Spain; Group B comprised Great Britain, Switzerland, Afghanistan and the USA and Group C included Pakistan, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Denmark.
India defeated their former colonial masters Great Britain 4-0 in the final. The Netherlands beat Pakistan 4-1 in a second match (after the first match was tied 1-1) to win bronze. Of With this, India made it four out of four in winning the Olympic hockey gold.
Results for India:
India defeated Argentina 9-1, Austria 8-0, Spain 2-0 in the group matches while they went past the Netherlands 2-1 in the semi-final and drubbed Great Britain 4-0 in the final.
Some facts from the 1948 Olympics:
1. This was the first Olympic after Partition and the Indian Hockey Federation, which had Naval Tata as its president then, had a challenging task in hand to put together a squad for the Olympics.
2. Centre-forward Balbir Singh Senior from Punjab, considered next best only to Dhyan Chand, appeared on the scene at this Olympics. Balbir Singh scored six goals in the 8-1 win against Argentina and two goals in the final against Great Britain. Another hockey legend Leslie Walter Claudius also made his debut at this Olympic.