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India beat Pakistan to win bronze at Asian Champions Trophy

India won the bronze medal at the Asian Champions Trophy men’s hockey tournament on Wednesday, defeating Pakistan 4-3 in a pulsating play-off for the 3rd and 4th position. India fought

India won the bronze medal at the Asian Champions Trophy men’s hockey tournament on Wednesday, defeating Pakistan 4-3 in a pulsating play-off for the 3rd and 4th position.

India fought their way through a resilient Pakistani side finishing third in the five-team event.

South Korea won the gold medal after a remarkable comeback in the finals, equalising with just 0.01 seconds remaining in the match to defeat Japan 4-2 in tiebreakers.

Also Read: Kidambi Srikanth becomes 1st Indian to enter BWF World Championships final

The Asian Champions Trophy may lack a larger context, but the last week has revealed that India’s path to an Asian Games gold medal, which would confirm a berth in the Paris Olympics, may not be smooth.

India, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalists are head and shoulders above the rest of Asia on almost every count, whether it is the depth of talent or the amount of investment, the number of matches they play, or the scale of recent triumphs.

However, it has struggled to translate that domination on the field.

Due to the pandemic, India has spent the last two years focusing only on training its athletes for the Olympics. However, the Junior World Cup and the Asian Champions Trophy have shown how much work remains to be done to bring individuals outside the Olympic core group up to speed.

India will not panic just yet because the goal of this competition was to give the players some match time. But as the team heads into a busy 2022, the Asian Champions Trophy will serve as a timely wake-up call.

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First Published: 23rd December, 2021 16:05 IST

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