29/08/2015 10:01 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

India Women's Hockey Team Bags Historic 2016 Rio Olympic Berth After 36 Years


Indian women hockey team booked their tickets to the 2016 Rio Games, the second qualifications ever for the Olympics.

The last time the team was qualified for the Games was in 1980, where they finished a commendable fourth.

"India qualified after England defeated Spain in the semi-finals of the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in London, which ensured that the only teams who can now win the event have already qualified for Rio through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals - Netherlands and England (as Great Britain)," the FIH said on its website.

India women join the nine teams already qualified for Rio 2016 - Korea as Asian Games champions, Argentina as Pan Am Games champions and Great Britain, China, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and the USA through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

Hockey India president, Narinder Batra, also congratulated the team on his Facebook page, saying this is "the Best Birthday Gift for Dada Dhyan Chand on His Birthday and National Sports Day."


Posted by Narinder Dhruv Batra on Friday, 28 August 2015

The winner of the EuroHockey Championships will qualify for the 2016 Olympics as European continental champions, opening up a further qualification spot which India secure as the team who ranked highest at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals not already qualified.

Two more qualifications are available for the women's event at Rio Games and the lineup will be finalised after the two remaining continental championships - the Oceania Cup and the Africa Cup for Nations - to be held in November.

Contact HuffPost India