India’s women’s hockey team booked only their second qualification ever for the Olympic Games. The team secured a place in Rio Olympics 2016 after a place opened up Netherlands and England reached the final of the EuroHockey Championships in London. This meant that the fifth-place finish at the Hockey World League semi-finals earlier in July this year was enough for India to bag a historic berth.
The fact the the news come on Major Dhyan Chand’s birthday and the country’s National Sports Day makes it even more special.
India’s only previous qualification for the Games was in 1980, where they finished a commendable fourth.
The Indian women’s team, which was waiting for this day with bated breath, required two of the already-qualified teams to reach the final of the European Championships in order to confirm their qualification.
“India qualified after England defeated Spain in the semi-finals of the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in London, which ensured that the only teams who can now win the event have already qualified for Rio through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals – Netherlands and England (as Great Britain),” the FIH said on its website.