Hockey, India: 1948 Olympics
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A brief history
12th August 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of independent India's first gold in Hockey at the Olympics. On this day in 1948, Indian men's hockey team defeated Great Britain 4-0 in the final.
Indian hockey team won their first gold medal as an independent nation in 1948
August 12, 1948, will always have a special place in India's sporting history. It was on this particular day that the country won its first-ever gold medal at the Olympics as an independent nation. Before the historic triumph, India had won three gold medals at the Olympics but all of them came under the rule of the British empire. India had claimed top podium finishes in 1928, 1932 and 1936 before bagging their first gold as an independent nation after 12 years.
362 days after getting independence, Indian men's hockey team registered a historic triumph over Great Britain by 4-0. Prior to the tournament, the British had refused to play against India as they once ruled them but in the final, they had no choice but to battle it out for the ultimate glory. After thrashing them 4-0 India won their fourth successive gold at the Olympics.
It was a packed Wembley Stadium with the English fans on top of their voice but Indians played with all their hearts and emerged as eventual winners. Free from British Raj, those eleven men united a whole nation and gave them a proud moment to celebrate. The moment was celebrated across the country as it marked an independent India's first major win at the prestigious event.
Today marks the 70 years of the historic feat. Balbir Singh, who made his Olympics debut in the same edition, stole the show with his impeccable show throughout the tournament. He bagged two goals in India's final win over Great Britain to become a hero back home. The other two scorers in the final were Tarlocahn Singh and Pat Jansen.
Before facing their former colonisers Great Britain in the final, India defeated Argentina 9-1 and Austria 8-0 comprehensively before beating Spain 2-0 in the semi-final. In the summit clash, they continued their stellar run and bagged gold with another commendable performance.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar's upcoming movie Gold tries to depict India's struggles and the journey to the country's first gold medal as an independent nation. To mark the 70th anniversary of the historic day, the filmmakers decided to unite people across the country in honour of the feat and celebrate the heroes of the victory.
Gold's producer Farhan Akhtar also shared a video on Twitter of country's top sportsperson who have won loyal for the nation across the globe. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Chhetri, Abhinav Bindra, PV Sindhu and Vijender Singh all shared how it felt to win something for the country at the top level.
Hockey, India: 1948 Olympics