Erstwhile giants of the game, India today slumped to a humiliating 2-5 defeat against defending champions Germany to crash out of the semi-final race in the men's hockey competition of the London Olympics here.
Facing a must-win situation following two straight defeats in their first two games, India put up a pathetic display and allowed the Germans to dictate terms almost right through the match. The Indians were no match for their speedy rivals and their defence was split open at will by the Germans. Young striker Florian Fuchs (7th minute, 16th, and 36th) scored a brilliant hat-trick for the Germans, while Oliver Korn
(24th) and Christopher Wesley (34th) were the other goal-getters for the European giants.
For India, VR Raghunath (13th) and Tushar Kahndker (63rd) reduced the margin of defeat. India are now out of the semi-final race after having tasted defeats in their first three matches. They lost to The Netherlands 2-3 and New Zealand 1-3 in their opening two fixtures.
The eight-time champions, who have returned to the Olympic fold after eight years, are lying sixth and last in Group B.
The Bharat Chetri-led team, coached by Australian Michael Nobbs, will now have to fight for minor placings. India will now face Korea on Sunday before finishing off their group campaign against Belgium on August 7.
The Netherlands and Germany are leading the chart with three wins from as many games. Korea are placed second with three points from two games just ahead of New Zealand, who have garnered three points from three matches.
Mayookha, Prakash bow out
India’s campaign in athletics commenced on a poor note with shot putter Om Prakash and triple jumper Mayookha Johny both failing to qualify for the final rounds.
Om Prakash ended up 19th with a below par effort of 19.86m while Mayookha too disappointed with a leap of 13.77m while finishing 22nd.
India's lone participant in swimming, Gagan Ullalmath finished last in the men's 1,500m freestyle heats. He finished last in the seven-men heat number one and his 16:31.14secs effort was the worst timing among the 31 swimmers who participated in the four heats of the event. The 20-year-old from Bangalore had qualified for the Olympics under FINA’s strange "universality" clause while four of the country's more fancied swimmers had failed to make it to the Games.