Tokyo Olympics field hockey in review: Netherlands, Belgium win gold

The Netherlands women's hockey team celebrate. (Getty Images)

You won’t find an American team among the hockey competitors at the Tokyo Games. Played on turf, this summer version of the sport is popular worldwide, however.

The Olympic Games is the sport’s biggest stage and a very strong field of national teams brought their best to Tokyo.

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Dutch do it again; win women's title

Gold: Netherlands
Silver: Argentina
Bronze: Great Britain

The Netherlands won their fourth Olympic women's hockey title, defeating Argentina 3-1 in the final at the Tokyo Games.

The Netherlands scored all three of its points on penalty corners in the second period, with one goal from Margot van Geffen and two from Caia van Maasakker. Argentina replied with moments left to play in the first half when Agustina Gorzelany also scored off a penalty corner.

"It's amazing," Netherlands captain Eva de Goede said. "I just can't believe that we actually did it. We worked so hard for it."

The win gave De Goede and teammate Lidewij Welten three Olympic titles in women's hockey, after they also won gold at the 2008 and 2012 Games.


SEE MORE: Netherlands tops Argentina in women's field hockey final

Great Britain wins women's hockey bronze

Great Britain earned the bronze medal in women's hockey with a hard-fought 4-3 win over India.

Britain, who had won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, took a two-goal lead in the second quarter with goals from Elena Rayer and Sarah Robertson.

India, who have never won an Olympic medal in women's hockey, took a 3-2 lead going into the break, but Hollie Pearne-Webb tied the game and Grace Balsdon won it for Great Britain with a penalty corner in the final frame.


SEE MORE: Great Britain defeats India 4-3 to claim bronze medal

Belgium wins shootout to take men's hockey gold

Gold: Belgium
Silver: Australia
Bronze: India

Belgium won their first Olympic men's hockey title, beating Australia 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the gold medal match finished in a 1-1 draw.

Belgium forward Florent van Aubel gave the Red Lions the lead two minutes into the second half. Tom Wickham scored the equalizer for Australia, , sending the match to the shootout

Belgian goalie Vincent Vanasch saved three attempts from the Kookaburras, including a retake from Australia’s Jake Whetton following a video review. Vanasch saved Whetton's second try, securing the title for Belgium.

"I'm really happy,” Vanasch said. “I think all of the Belgian people are proud today of the Belgium national team."


SEE MORE: Belgium secures gold after shootout win over Australia

India celebrates first hockey medal in 41 years

A euphoric India celebrated on Friday the country's first hockey medal in 41 years, hoping the hard-earned bronze in Tokyo Olympics would help them regain their past glory.

The most successful hockey nation in Olympic history with eight men's titles, India's previous medal came at the 1980 Moscow Games when they topped the podium.

India’s men’s teams ended the medal drought when they prevailed in a nine-goal thriller against Germany in the bronze medal match. The win sparked off celebrations across the world's second-most populous nation.

Their victory made it to the front pages of the country's top newspapers, with the Times of India terming it a "Tokyo Turnaround." The paper devoted a full inside page to celebrate what it said was a "bronze worth its weight in gold."

"In the land of the rising sun, Indian hockey has moved from darkness to light with an Olympic bronze that has the glimmer of gold," read an editorial in the Indian Express newspaper.

"The hockey superpower of the Grass Era now can aspire to be the best on Astroturf as well. Tokyo could be the beginning of a dream, rather than a destination," it added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the team on Thursday to congratulate them.

"Hockey has a special place in the hearts and minds of every Indian. For every hockey lover and sports enthusiast, 5th August 2021 will remain one of the most memorable days," he later said in a post on Twitter.


SEE MORE: India ends medal drought in men's field hockey

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