1980 Olympics: India win gold at a marred Games

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Olympics Rings
Bangalore, Jul 23: Here is a look at the previous Olympic hockey tournaments. After the disappointing outings at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Games where India could not make it to the finals, the team brought back the goal for the eighth and last time in 1980. The Indian team was then led by Vasudevan Baskaran.

London Olympics Special

1980 Moscow Olympics

The hockey matches at Moscow Olympics, which was boycotted by several top teams in protest to the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan the preceding year, were played at the Minor Area of the Central Dynamo Stadium and Young Pioneers Stadium. None of the top three teams of the previous Games, New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan, along with West Germany and the Netherlands, were present. Only six teams were in the fray, namely, India, Spain, USSR, Poland, Cuba and Tanzania.

India defeated Spain 4-3 in the final to win gold
while the hosts USSR beat Poland 2-1 to bag the bronze.

Results for India:
India beat Tanzania 18-0, drew 2-2 with Poland and Spain, beat Cuba 13-0 and USSR 4-2. In the first-second spot decider match, India beat Spain 4-3.

Some facts from the 1980 Olympics:
1. India scored 39 goals in the tournament while ceded just six. Surinder Singh Sodhi scored 16 of India's goals.
2. The 1980 Olympics saw the introduction of women's hockey tournament for the first time. Zimbabwe won gold at the inaugural tournament and till today is the only African country to have won a medal in Olympic hockey. The Indian eves finished fourth at the Moscow Games, their best Olympic result ever.

Next: 1984-2008: India gradually disappear from Olympic hockey

OneIndia News

Story first published: Monday, July 23, 2012, 13:00 [IST]
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