In the history of the Olympics, only 28 medals have been played in India’s account, and 11 of them India won in hockey alone. India has named 8 gold, one silver and two bronze medals in hockey. From 1928 to 1956 Indian Hockey won six consecutive gold medals. Many of the great players including Major Dhyanchand have made significant contribution towards reaching this position to Indian Hockey. Let’s look at the 5 great players of Indian hockey history ……
Udham Singh Helsinki
In 1949, Udham Singh Helsinki (1952), Melbourne (1956), Rome (1960), Tokyo (1964) who started his career against Afghanistan was part of the Indian team in the Olympics. After Leslie Claudius, Udham Singh is the second Indian to win 3 gold medals and one silver medal in the Olympics. Singh was awarded Arjuna Award in the year 1965. Udham Singh also served Indian hockey as coach. In Singh’s coaching, the Indian team won the silver medal in the Olympics in Mexico in the year 1968.
Thanks to Leslie Claudius, India was successful in winning the 1948 London Olympics, the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and the 1956 Melbourne Olympics gold medal. In the 1960 Rome Olympics, Indian team won the silver medal in the captaincy of Claudius. Claudius was awarded Padma Shri in the year 1971. In the name of the three Indian players in the 2012 Olympic Games, the names of the metro station were named, among them the names of Leslie Claudius, besides the magician Major Dhyanchand, Roop Singh, Indian hockey. Claudius was the first player to play 100 international matches for India. Claudius is named in the Guinness Book of World Records with Udham Singh in the title of the most Olympic medal in hockey.
After Major Dhyanchand, Balbir Singh Sr. is considered to be the second best player of hockey. Balbir Singh was a member of the Indian Hockey team that won three Olympic gold medals in London (1948), Helsinki (1952 as a vice-captain), and Melbourne (as captain in 1956). In the name of Balbir Singh, the record for hauling the hockey final in the Olympics is recorded. During the 1952 Olympics, Balbir Singh, playing against the Netherlands in the final, scored five goals. In this final match India won 6-1 and won the gold medal of Hockey. Balbir Singh was the manager and head coach of the Indian team in the 1975 World Cup (India had won the title in it) and 1971 World Cup (India won bronze medal in it). He was the first hockey player to be honored with Padmashree in the year 1957. He was awarded the Major Dhyanchand Lifetime Achievement Award in the year 2015.
35-year-old Dhanraj Pillai, who started his international career in 1989, represented India in four World Cups, 4 Olympics, 4 Asian Games and 4 Champions Trophy. He is the only hockey player in the world to do this. Under the captaincy of Dhanraj Pillai, India won the gold medal in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games and the 2003 Asia Cup. At the same time, he became the highest goalscorer player in the Bangkok Asian Games. He was awarded the tournament’s Player of the Tournament in the 2002 Champions Trophy held in Germany. Dhanraj was awarded the Padmashree in 2000. Dhanraj Pillay played a total of 339 international matches from India for 15 years of hockey career and scored about 170 goals in them. In 1999-2000, Dhanraj Pillai was the first hockey player to win the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.