Indian hockey teams end year on 6th and 10th spots

The Indian men’s hockey team began the year in the sixth spot and remained there despite clinching a bronze medal at the season-ending Hockey World League Finals, while the women's team moved up two spots to finish tenth, owing to its Asia Cup glory.

The Indian hockey team poses with its Hockey World League Finals bronze medal after defeating Germany 2-1 on Sunday.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

India’s men and women’s hockey teams remained in the sixth and 10th positions respectively in the rankings revealed by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday.

The men’s team was at the sixth spot at the beginning of the year and maintained it throughout the year. Though India (1566 points) won the bronze medal at the season-ending Hockey World League Finals (HWL) on Sunday, it was unable to get past fifth-placed Germany (1680).

READ: India edges Germany to bronze medal

The women’s team started the year at the 12th spot but slowly it jumped two spots. Its Asia Cup win last month helped them gain two spots, leapfrogging over Spain and Japan.

At the top of men’s hockey, Australia knocked out Argentina for the first time since the Rio 2016 Olympics. Number one in the world is a familiar place for the Australians who, until the Olympics in Rio, had held top spot since January 2014. The HWL Final title helped Australia topple the South American champion and 2016 Olympic gold medallist.

Belgium, Netherlands and Germany remain unchanged at third, fourth and fifth respectively.

The other movers in the men’s world rankings includes Spain which has moved up one spot to eighth in the world, overtaking New Zealand in the process.

In the women’s competition, the Netherlands retained their position at the top after they claimed the Sentinel Homes HWL Final title late last month.

England and Argentina remain in second and third place respectively following their involvement in the Auckland competition.

ALSO READ: Australia retains HWL Finals crown

New Zealand’s silver medal at this event combined with Australia’s failure to qualify for the HWL Final and therefore earn points, meant that the Black Sticks overtook their Oceania neighbour into fourth place.

South Korea’s bronze medal in Auckland means that the Asian team remains in ninth place in the rankings but it has closed the gap markedly on China, with only 35 points now separating the continental rival.

Germany, the United States and China remain in sixth, seventh and eighth place in the world rankings respectively.

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