It has been confirmed that the Indian women’s hockey team has qualified for the upcoming Olympics that are set to take place next year. The International Hockey Federation confirmed that the Indian women’s team will now have the chance to compete in the Olympic Games.
In July this year, the team finished in fifth place at the Hockey World League semi-finals. The team had narrowly missed its chance to go to the Olympics, however, there was still a chance that the team would be able to go. Two of the teams that had already qualified needed to reach the final of the European Championship in order to ensure that they would have a place at the Olympics. If one of those teams did not make it, India would be placed higher on the list and receive a place.
After the Netherlands and England had reached the final of the EuroHockey Championships in London, a place opened up, and the Indian team was invited to join.
The International Hockey Federation explained: “The winner of the EuroHockey Championships will qualify for the 2016 Olympics as European continental champions, opening up a further qualification spot which India secure as the team who ranked highest at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals not already qualified.”
This is only the second time the Indian women’s hockey team will be playing in the Olympics. The first time was 36 years ago in 1980. The India team finished fourth in the 1980 Olympics.
Narinder Batra, the Hockey India President, posted a congratulations message on his Facebook page: “Congratulations… Indian Women Hockey team… for qualifying today in… Rio Olympics 2016.
Batra further added: “On 29th August 2015, the best birthday gift for Dada Dhyan Chand on his birthday and National Sports Day…Well done. We are proud of you. The entire nation is proud of you.”