The Indian men’s hockey team sealed their spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics by winning the high-stake final match against Japan in the recent Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
The Indian team displayed a dominating performance, scoring 5 goals, while Japanese could manage to send the ball only once into the nets. The top goal scorer for India was Harmanpreet Singh, who successfully converted two penalty corners in the 32nd and 59th minutes, respectively. The opening goal came from Manpreet Singh in the 25th minute. The other two goals came from Amit Rohidas, through a penalty corner in the 36th minute, and Abhishek, a field goal in the 48th minute.
In hockey, the Asian Games works as a qualifying event as the winners in both men’s and women’s categories automatically get a spot at the Olympics. Indian men’s team finished third at the 2018 edition and so, had to take part in FIH qualifiers to progress to Tokyo Olympics where it won bronze.
However, this time in Hangzhou, the Indian team successfully topped the group stage with five wins out of five matches. In the semifinals, the team defeated South Korea 5-3 to set up the summit clash with 2018 champion Japan.
The 19th edition of the Asian Games, held from September 23 to October 8 in Hangzhou, won quotas for next year’s Paris Olympics in some of the events. Besides the men’s hockey team, Indian boxers Lovlina Borgohain, Nikhat Zareen, Parveen Hooda and Preeti Pawar, and javelin thrower Kishore Kumar Jena earned quotas for the Paris Olympics at the recent games in Hangzhou, China.