FORMIDABLE ASIA BECOMING ORPHAN IN OLYMPICS
June 18 - 24, 2012
If form and ranking and records of past four Olympics are taken into consideration, Pakistan that won 1960 Rome, 1968 Mexico City, and 1984
Los Angeles Olympic gold, stands no chance to come within the sight of the medal podium. If they could reach the semi final stage that would be the highest they could make and even try to clinch the bronze.
However if luck sided with the Pakistanis they could even dream of taking the gold. Luck had twice played major role for Pakistan to win the inaugural World hockey cup which it initiated in Barcelona when lowly ranked Japan beat Netherlands in pool match to enable Pakistan reach the semifinal and finally win the gold.
Second time it was in 1984 Los Angeles Olympics when Holland failed to clinch needed 7-0 margin win over Kenya in pool league match to reach semi final ousting Pakistan. Thus, Pakistan with a plus nine goal difference as against plus six from Holland moved into the semi final.
Both Pakistan and Holland had tied with seven points each at the points table. Since 1996, Atlanta Olympics Pakistan had failed get good positions matching its reputation. At Atlanta, it finished 6th in 2000 Sydney, it was 4th at Athens 2004, it finished 7th, and was 8th at Beijing Olympics.
With such a record in past four Olympics, Pakistan currently ranked 7th can only pray for a miracle to happen to help its campaign at Riverbank arena where the 12 team London Olympics would be hosted July 29 to August 11.
Germany, Spain, Australia, and Netherlands who finished in that order at Beijing Olympics along with England, a former European champion, are among the front-runners in the medal race.
Pakistan reached London Olympics by winning the Asian games in China and eight times gold medal winner India which missed Beijing Olympics first time in its history won the Olympics qualifying round at home to book a berth for London which is hosting the Games third time.
Pakistan Hockey Federation is in the process of finalizing its sixteen for the Games. The team was sent to Ipoh, Malaysia to appear in Azlan Shah hockey where it finished last and 7th on the points table.
Currently, the team is on a brief visit to Europe to test its strength against better-ranked teams. Results so far against the European hosts are bleak.
The National federation has however has decided to include all the seniors fit enough to play. The PHF has also dropped disciplinary action against a few seniors for playing in the unsanctioned World
Series Hockey in India to include them in the national squad. The PHF should have in the first place not fined the players for breaching the so called code of conduct. It is Olympic year and Pakistan needed all the best players available for making some impact on international hockey scene.
The history of Pakistan Hockey is as old as that of the country itself. This was the second team game in which the newly born independent sovereign state made its international debut. A team led by the late Ali Iqtedar Shah Dara represented Pakistan in the first Post-War Olympic Hockey Tournament held in London in 1948. Pakistan lost in the playoff for the bronze medal between the losing semi-finalists. The same fate met the Pakistan team led by fullback Niaz Khan in the 1952 Olympic Hockey Tournament in Helsinki.
An inquiry committee was set up by the authorities in Pakistan with a senior ICS Officer, Riazuddin Ahmed, as the Convener after the failure to win even a bronze medal in two successive Olympics.
The findings of the inquiry Committee were embodied in a report, which came to be regarded as the Blueprint of Pakistan Hockey in the years that followed. The proposals in the said report were implemented. This resulted in Pakistan defying the jinx and reaching the final of the 1956 Olympic Hockey Tournament in Melbourne (Australia).
Although Pakistan won only the silver medal, it had achieved international recognition as a serious challenger to India's supremacy as the world leaders in the game. Thereafter, Pakistan never looked back and went from strength to strength, setting up new records and milestones en route to the top. Between 1956 and 1986, Pakistan recorded unprecedented feats, which are still unmatched. Thrice during this period of three decades, Pakistan won the Olympic and World Cup crowns. The Asian Games title was won six times and the Champions Trophy in the first two years of its inauguration. Came 1986 and within three weeks Pakistan lost both the Asian Games and World Cup titles.
Those humiliating defeats and the loss of two prestigious titles sent a shock wave among the entire nation. Pakistan's fortune in field hockey has fluctuated during late eighties to early 2000. Pakistan has remained among the top four hockey playing nations of the world. In fact, her record in the four major contests of the world (World Cup, Olympic Games, Asian Games and Champions Trophy) has not even been equaled leave alone surpassed. Pakistan has held more than two of these four times simultaneously.
Hockey was originally brought to Pakistan under British rule, and became popular with the local population.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation came into being in 1948, following the independence and partition into Pakistan and India. The first President of PHF was Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan with Baseer Ali Sheikh as Honorary Secretary. The Pakistan national side soon established a strong reputation in international competition, helping to maintain interest in the game in Pakistan which assisted the growth of the Federation.
It was during the second term as president of Air Marshal M. Nur Khan from 1978 that Pakistani hockey entered something of a golden age. National Senior, National Junior, and Women Hockey Teams were all competing and winning internationally.
On the personal initiative of Air Marshal M. Nur Khan, the FIH introduced the World Cup Tournament and the Champions Trophy
Tournament, which are now rated amongst the major international tournaments, alongside the Olympics. At this time, Pakistan held all the major titles in men's international hockey.
However, the 1976 Olympics in Montreal had seen the introduction of artificial turf to international hockey competition. Pakistan was unable to build as many of the new pitches as the European nations or Australia and New Zealand and so the strength of the national side declined.
COMPLETE DETAIL OF OLYMPIC MEDALS
1908: London: Great Britain Gold medal beat Great Britain Ireland silver 8-1 in final. Great Britain Scotland Bronze 10
1912: Stockholm: No Hockey Tournament
1920: Antwerp: Great Britain gold, Denmark silver, Belgium bronze
1924: Paris: No hockey tournament
1928: Amsterdam: India gold beat Netherlands silver 3-0.Germany bronze
1932: Los Angeles: India Gold, United States of America silver, Japan bronze
1936: Berlin: India Gold beat Germany silver 8-1.Netherlands Bronze
1948: London: India gold beat Great Britain silver 4-0. Netherlands Bronze beat Pakistan (full time 1-1) 4-1 on penalty strokes in extra time
1952: Helsinki: India Gold beat Netherlands silver 6-1. Great Britain Bronze beat Pakistan 2-1
1956: Melbourne: India gold beat Pakistan silver 1-0. United Team of Germany Bronze Great Britain 3-1
1960: Rome: Pakistan Gold beat India silver 1-0. Spain Bronze beat Great Britain 2-1
1964: Tokyo: India gold beat Pakistan silver 1-0. Australia bronze beat Spain 3-2 after extra time
1968: Mexico City: Pakistan gold beat Australia 2-1. India Bronze beat West Germany 2-1
1972: Munich: West Germany gold beat Pakistan silver 1-0. India bronze beat Netherlands 2-1
1976: Montreal: New Zealand gold beat Australia silver 1-0. Pakistan Bronze beat Netherlands 3-2
1980: Moscow: India gold beat Spain silver 4-3. Soviet Union bronze beat Poland 2-1. (Pakistan and Western nations boycotted Moscow Olympics because of alleged Soviet invasion of Afghanistan)
1984: Los Angeles: Pakistan Gold beat West Germany silver 2-1 in extra time. Great Britain silver beat Australia 3-2.
1988: Seoul: Great Britain gold beat West Germany silver 3-1. Netherlands bronze beat Australia 2-1. Pakistan finished 5th.
1992: Barcelona: Germany gold beat Australia silver 2-1. Pakistan Bronze beat Netherlands 4-3
1996: Atlanta: Netherlands gold beat Spain silver 3-1. Australia bronze beat Germany 3-2. Pakistan finished 6th
2000: Sydney: Netherlands gold beat South Korea silver (full and extra time 3-all) 5-4 on penalty strokes. Australia bronze beat Pakistan 6-3
2004: Athens: Australia gold beat Netherlands 2-1 after extra time. Germany bronze beat Spain 4-3 after extra time. Pakistan finished 7th
2008: Beijing: Germany gold beat Spain 1-0. Australia bronze beat. Netherlands 6-2. Pakistan finished 8th.
2012: London: To be played.