1948 Olympics: India bag fourth consecutive gold

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Here is a look at the previous Olympic hockey tournaments. After the 1936 edition, the Olympics remained suspended in 1940 and 1944 owing to the outbreak of the Second World War. It was again held in 1948 at London.

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.

Next: India win 1952 Olympics

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