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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hockey Champions - Grand Slam June 5, 1985

It is difficult to pin point the origin of the game of Hockey. Some authors say th its place of birth is Greece, while others say, it started in Asia. This game was brought to sub-Continent in 1896 by the British Forces. It soon spread out and became very popular.
Field Hockey, for the first time, won recognition in 1908 when it was included in the IV Olympics Games held at London. It was in 1928 that Hockey team from this sub-Continent entered in the Olympics held at Amsterdam, Holland. The team gave an excellent performance and won the Gold Medal.
As an independent state in August 1947, Pakistan\'s Hockey talent, though abundant was disorganised. Pakistan was placed fourth in the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Games. In the 1956 Olympic Games at Melbourne, Pakistan reached the final for the first time but lost to India by solitary goal.
Pakistan finally got the much-needed and well-deserved morale-booster at the Asia Games at Tokyo in 1958 when it won the Gold Medal relegating India to second place on a better goal average. And the crowning achievement came in 1960 when Pakistan won its first Olympic Gold at Rome.
Pakistan has an enviable record in this game. In the Asian Games since 1958, Pakistan has won six times and lost only once. Out of the 5 World Cup Tournaments, Pakistan lifted the Trophy 3 times and was once placed second. In the Olympic Games, so far, Pakistan has won 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze Medals. In the 6 Champions Trophy Tournaments, held so far.
Pakistan has annexed the Trophy twice and was placed second on two occasions.
GRAND SLAM
Munich was avenged at Los Angeles in 1984. The Pakistan Hockey Team, to the great delight of millions of Hockey fans in Pakistan, regained the Olympic Crown after sixteen year. With this victory, Pakistan achieved the rare distinction of winning the Grand Slam as they hay captured three major titles i.e. the Asian Games, The World Cup and now the Olympic Crown.
LOS ANGELES OLYMPICS-1984
Pakistan had to fight every inch of the way to the semi-final with fortunes fluctu at in with every match. Australia and Holland came to the Tournament as \"hot favourites\". The claimed a long list of achievements against the World Cup holders.
Pakistan team demonstrated the touch of class which enabled them to beat the formic able Australians in the semi-final. The final between Pakistan and West Germany can be termed a clash between Asian artistry and European technique. It was a treat to watch our side play with West Germany. From the first whistle of the match to the last each one of its moves was an execution of dazzling stick-work and artistic wizardry. Never before did victory look so good an4 justifiable as it did at Los Angeles.
The victory at Los Angeles should give a great fillip to the game in Pakistan where public interest in Hockey was beginning to ebb prior to the Olympic Games at Los Angeles.
ASIAN CUP
Pakistan retained the Asia Cup Hockey title at Dhaka during January 1985, by defeating a hard-fighting Indian team in extra-time after playing a 1-1 tie in regulation time. Nov the immediate target for Pakistan Hockey team is the next Champions Trophy to be held late this year and the World Cup, which will be played in England subsequently.
Over the years it has become increasingly clear that competition among the hockey playing nations in the world is becoming tougher than before, and still greater efforts would be required to maintain our position at the top.
Pakistan Post Office is issuing a commemorative postage stamp of the denomination of Re. 1/- to commemorate the victory of Pakistan in the Asian Games, the World Cup and th4 Olympic Crown.