Indian team fail to qualify for semis

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> For the first time, Indian hockey team failed to qualify for the semi finals at the Asian games.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:38 IST
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For the first time, Indian hockey team failed to qualify for the semi finals at the Asian games. The Indian team drawing 1-1 with Korea means that Korea will now play in the semi finals of the tournament from group B. The other team being China. This also means that India has lost an opportunity to directly qualify for the Beijing Olympics. Coach Vasudevan Bhaskaran reacted angrily when asked by the media whether he was aware of Indian hockey team not making it to the final of the Asian Games for the first time. While the coach reasons that one bad match against China resulted in this humiliation, captain Dilip Tirkey rued lack of specialists. "Yes, we will have to work very hard in future because all the other teams in the world are improving. We will have to improve in the short-corner department," said Dilip Tirkey, captain, Indian Hockey team. Dipping performance Indian team's dipping performance graph has not gone down well with the International Hockey Federation either. The FIH wants IHF to get more pro-active in promoting the sport in the country. What is more depressing for the Indian hockey fans is the fact that the men in blue will now have to play qualifying matches to book a berth for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It was an extremely bleak day in the history of Indian hockey, one that hasn't been seen in 48 years. India's failure to finish in the medal bracket in Doha will put a huge amount of pressure on their chances of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics and should they fail to qualify, it will be another shameful first in the history of the sport.

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