India’s excruciatingly long 33-year drought for a major medal ended with a bronze at the Hockey World League Final in Raipur last week. After beating Netherlands via tie-break shootout in the third-place match, will Sardar Singh & Co be able to end another, longer wait of 36 years for an Olympic medal?
That’s a million-dollar question and one that would be answered in August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
India clinched the last of their eight hockey gold medals at the boycott-marred 1980 Moscow Olympics, while they bagged their last medal in a major FIH-level competition two years later at the Champions Trophy in Amstelveen, Netherlands.
Since then, it has been a story of heartbreak — narrow misses and poor performances in the Olympics, which culminated in embarrassment in London when they finished last.