Because the Indian hockey crew set sail for Amsterdam from the Bombay port to take part within the 1928 Olympic Video games, solely three individuals – the then Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) president, vice-president and a solitary journalist – got here to see them off.
When the hockey crew returned from the Netherlands, although, 1000’s, together with eminent dignitaries, thronged Mole Station (adjoining railway station of the previous Bombay pier) to greet the triumphant heroes.
In any case, India gained its first Olympic gold medal in hockey at Amsterdam on their debut look. The victory was a major milestone for Indian hockey for a number of causes.
The win kickstarted an unprecedented domination over the game which noticed the Indian subject hockey crew win six consecutive Olympic gold medals – Amsterdam 1928, Los Angeles 1932, Berlin 1936, London 1948, Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956.
Right here’s a glance again at how India gained their first Olympic hockey gold in Amsterdam.
Earlier than 1928, hockey was part of the Olympic programme on the 1908 and 1920 Video games however India was part of neither. Although India did ship a contingent to the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, there was no illustration in hockey.
Nonetheless underneath the rule of Nice Britain then, India lacked an official hockey governing physique.
The IHF was established in 1925 and later grew to become part of the Worldwide Hockey Federation (FIH) in 1927. That modified the panorama. India have been set to mark their hockey debut on the Video games in 1928.
The Olympic crew’s preparations in India, nonetheless, was muted with the crew dropping 3-2 to Bombay throughout a apply match. Few anticipated a medal from Amsterdam however the crew was assured of ‘avoiding any shame’ within the match.
The dearth of expectations, maybe, resulted within the low-key sending off of the crew from Bombay.
Indian hockey crew for the 1928 Amsterdam Video games
The IFH initially named a 16-member squad, that includes 9 Anglo-Indians and 7 Indians, together with Dhyan Chand. 13 would sail to Amsterdam from Bombay.
Three – Jaipal Singh, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi or Nawab of Pataudi Senior (father of Indian cricket legend Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and grandfather of Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan) and SM Yusuf – have been set to affix the crew in England throughout a layover. Pataudi finally dropped out of the crew.
Shortly earlier than setting off, a scarcity of funds meant two gamers – Shaukat Ali and Rex A Norris – needed to be axed from the travelling entourage. A final-minute intervention by patrons in Bengal, although, ensured the 2 had their bunks on Kaiser-i-Hind – the ship transporting the gamers from Bombay.
India hockey squad for Amsterdam 1928 Olympics: Jaipal Singh (captain), Broome Eric Pinninger (vice-captain), Syed M Yusuf, Richard J Allen, Michael E Roeque, Leslie C Hammond, Rex A Norris, William John Goodsir-Cullen, Kehar Singh Gill, Maurice A Gateley, Shaukat Ali, George E Marthins, Dhyan Chand, Feroze Khan and Frederick S Seaman
Captain Jaipal Singh’s sacrifice
Jaipal Singh was the designated captain. A Munda tribal, Jaipal was despatched to London by missionaries to review in Oxford and had earned his title as a hockey participant in England, together with an expansion on the celebrated World Hockey journal.
On the time, Jaipal was finding out for the Indian Civil Providers (ICS) in Britain and wasn’t granted depart to take part within the 1928 Olympics. He, nonetheless, paid no heed to warnings and travelled to Amsterdam with the squad.
Upon his return, Jaipal cleared his ICS finals however was penalised and requested to repeat the 12 months. Jaipal resigned and got here again to India.
He would later change into a outstanding campaigner for tribal rights in India and got here to be generally known as marang gomke (nice chief) of the adivasi inhabitants inhabiting the Chhota Nagpur plateau of the erstwhile undivided Bihar.
Throughout a 20-day layover in London, the Indian crew, led by Jaipal Singh, performed a number of apply matches and caught the eye of the European media.
Their victories in London featured a 4-0 drubbing of the England nationwide hockey crew in an exhibition match on the Folkestone competition. England had gained gold medals at each the 1908 and 1920 Olympic hockey occasions.
Curiously, England withdrew their crew from the Olympics after the defeat to India.
Although there was no official reasoning for the pullout, it was believed that the British Raj was unwilling to just accept a defeat by one in all its colonies on the worldwide stage.
The English crew re-emerged on the 1948 Olympics – a 12 months after India’s independence.
“I reiterate that that is mere rumour (that England dropped out of the Amsterdam Video games fearing the Indians), though we fondly hoped that at the least in future Olympics we might have the honour of assembly Nice Britain and exhibiting them how good or unhealthy we have been. It’s my remorse that this hope was by no means realised as long as I participated in Olympic occasions,” Dhyan Chand had famous in his biography years later.
India additionally performed matches in Germany and Belgium earlier than arriving in Holland for the primary occasion.
How India gained its first Olympic hockey gold in Amsterdam
A complete of 9 groups participated within the 1928 Olympics hockey occasion.
India, with Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria have been drawn in Division Some time hosts the Netherlands, with Germany, France and Spain have been in Division B.
The topper of every group confronted one another for the gold medal, whereas the second-placed groups performed for the bronze.
India’s debut match noticed Dhyan Chand emerge as an unstoppable power in world hockey.
Wizard Dhyan Chand weaves his magic
Dhyan Chand already had a popularity previous himself after his good exhibiting within the Indian hockey crew’s maiden international tour to New Zealand and his performances in apply matches. However it was the primary time his wizardry with the stick discovered its rightful stage on the most important sporting occasion on the planet.
Dhyan Chand scored 4 towards Austria in India’s opening match to assist his crew to a 6-0 win. George Marthins and Shaukat Ali netted the opposite two objectives.
Belgium tried to mark Dhyan Chand to curb his risk however the ploy backfired because it set the remainder of the Indian crew free to run havoc in entrance of the opposition objective. Regardless of being hounded by markers, Dhyan Chand himself scored one and helped arrange a number of of the remaining eight.
Feroze Khan top-scored with 5 as India ran away as 9-0 winners towards the Belgians.
Dhyan Chand scored back-to-back hat-tricks within the subsequent two matches as India thrashed Denmark 5-0 and Switzerland 6-0.
After the match towards Denmark, Jaipal Singh left the squad as a result of private points with Broome Eric Pinninger taking on the reins for the ultimate two matches of the marketing campaign together with the ultimate. That didn’t halt India’s momentum, although.
Having topped their division with a 100 per cent file, India arrange a ultimate towards the the Netherlands, who had gained the opposite division.
Heading into the large match on Might 26, 1928, India confronted a couple of odds. Feroze Khan was dominated out as a result of a damaged collarbone he suffered within the match towards Denmark whereas Shaukat Ali and Dhyan Chand have been down with fever.
The wizard, although, nonetheless turned up with a brace as India beat the host nation 3-0 in entrance of fifty,000 Dutch followers, half watching from inside and the remaining ready outdoors the Olympisch Stadion in Amsterdam.
I used to be ailing, and operating a excessive temperature which continued all all through the sport. That day, our supervisor A. B. Rosser coined a slogan for us – Do or Die. I used to be a soldier by occupation, and when the nation’s honour was at stake, there was no different however to march boldly into the battlefield,” Dhyan Chand recalled throughout a later interview.
Dhyan Chand completed because the top-scorer within the match, scoring 14 of India’s 29 objectives.
India goalkeeper Richard Allen needed to do little or no and ended the match with out conceding a single objective – a file solely matched by the Indian crew which gained gold on the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
It was additionally the primary Olympic gold medal gained by Asia within the fashionable Olympics.