It’s all in the family for these stick-wielders
From the time when Dhyan Chand and Roop Singh hunted in a pair in the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games, the sport of hockey has seen many sets of brothers representing their countries in the quadrennial sports extravaganza. B Shrikant reports. Siblings on the fieldindia Updated: Jul 07, 2012 01:57 IST
From the time when Dhyan Chand and Roop Singh hunted in a pair in the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games, the sport of hockey has seen many sets of brothers representing their countries in the quadrennial sports extravaganza.
Some of these brothers played in the same Olympics like Dhyan Chand and Roop Singh who helped India bag gold medals in 1932 in Los Angeles and 1936 at Berlin.
India itself has seen three more sets of brothers donning the national colours in the Olympics — Gurbax Singh and Balbir Singh Grewal from Mumbai were part of the team that bagged bronze medal in the 1986 Olympics at Mexico, Harmik Singh and Ajit Singh too won bronze in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, while Charanjit Kumar won gold in the 1980 Moscow Games, his brother Gundeep Kumar was part of the MM Somaya-led team at the 1988 Seoul Games.
But the men’s hockey tournament at 2012 Olympics Games will be unique in the sense that five sets of brothers will be seen in action at London. Four of the 10 squads —Argentina, Spain, South Africa and Germany — announced thus far have brothers representing their countries.
Top of the list will be the three Villa brothers from Argentina —Matais, Lucas and Rodrigo — all of whom have been selected to represent their country. Ramon and David Alegre figure in the 16-member squad for Spain, while South Africa have brothers Teine and Wade Paton gunning for glory.
Germany present a unique case as the 16-member squad includes two sets of brothers — Benjamin and Timo Wiess and Christopher and Philipp Zeller.
However, the record for most brothers in the same squad was set in the 1972 Olympics when Uganda entered the fray with three sets —Rajinder Singh and Amarjit Singh Sandhu; Kuldip Singh and Ajit Singh Bhogal and Jagdish Singh and Upkar Singh Kapoor.
With Harmik and Ajit Singh doing duty for India, the preliminary league clash between the two teams had four sets of brothers slugging it out in the Olympic stadium in Munich.