Indian hockey teams rise to best-ever rankings after Tokyo Olympics show

The men’s team is ranked third after its bronze-winning exploits in Tokyo while the women’s team rose to world No. 8 after finishing fourth at the Olympics.

By Rahul Venkat
Picture by Hockey India

Both the men’s and women’s Indian hockey teams climbed up a position each to their highest-ever world rankings after their strong outings at the Tokyo Olympics.

The men’s team, which ended a 41-year medal drought to win bronze at Tokyo 2020, rose to world No. 3 in the latest International Hockey Federation (FIH) rankings.

Olympic champions Belgium are ranked world No. 1 while silver-medallists Australia are ranked second.

“It's the reward of all the hard work and dedication towards the game we love, towards the game which has given us everything. This ranking and the Olympic medal after 41 years mark the rise of Indian hockey,” said men’s team captain Manpreet Singh.

The men’s team only lost to Australia and Belgium in their memorable Tokyo Olympics run.

“I feel privileged to have played a part in the rise of Indian hockey,” added men’s team coach Graham Reid. “We played like a unit, with the right kind of attitude, and I think that has helped the team achieve this feat.”

The Indian women’s hockey team is now ranked eighth in the world. The Indian women had finished fourth in Tokyo - their best-ever position at an Olympics - after narrowly losing the bronze medal playoff to Great Britain.

It was the second successive appearance for the Indian women at the Games after Rio 2016, where they qualified for the Games for the first time in 36 years only to finish 12th and last.

“We were very close to finishing on the podium (in Tokyo), and it is hurting the team that we didn't. However, we have made remarkable progress in recent years, and I am really proud of it,” said women’s team skipper Rani Rampal.

“Finishing in the top four at the Olympics, and climbing to the eighth position in world rankings, is a very big thing for us, and this has boosted our confidence.” 

Olympic gold-medallists the Netherlands sit atop the women’s FIH rankings. England are world No. 2 and Tokyo silver-medallists Argentina round up the top three.