Eventful 2013 for Indian hockey as women outperform men

Hockey 2013: Women outperform men
New Delhi, Dec 25: The launch of a much-hyped professional league on the lines of IPL, the rise and fall of colts, an overhaul of the coaching set-up and women overshadowing their male counterparts -- 2013 was an eventful roller-coaster ride for Indian hockey.

On performance front, it was the junior women's team that stole the limelight by bagging a historic bronze medal in the World Cup held at Monchengladbach, Germany.

The senior men's team witnessed a bright start to the year

The junior eves' historic medal, in fact, remained the most striking image of 2013 for Indian hockey. Led by Sushila Chanu, the girls won their first-ever World Cup medal by beating England in the third-place playoff via penalty shoot-out. But for this, the on-field success of Indian hockey in 2013 was limited to the subcontinent.

The senior eves also did well for themselves winning a bronze in the Asia Cup and a silver in the Asian Champions Trophy to make it a profitable year for Indian women's hockey. Just like the girls, the junior boys started the year on a promising note by clinching the Sultan of Johor Cup title in Malaysia, which gave India the self belief that they can win the Junior World Cup at home.

But Manpreet Singh and his men were in for a rude shock as they failed to live up to the expectations and crashed out in the pool stages, eventually finishing a disappointing 10th in the 16-team event.

The senior men's team too witnessed a bright start to the year as the Sardar Singh-led side registered a six-match unbeaten run in the FIH World League Round 2 at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here to secure a berth in the league's semi-finals in Rotterdam that doubled up as a World Cup qualifier.

But the past masters of the game failed to secure a direct entry in next year's World Cup by finishing outside the top three position at Rotterdam. After missing a direct entry at the World Cup through Rotterdam, India's best chance to qualify for the quadrennial event was by becoming the continental champions.

But that didn't happen as Korea defeated Sardar and Co in the final to win the Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia.


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