A historic bronze medal for the men's team and fourth place for the women's team at the Tokyo Olympics has ensured India ended 2021 with their best-ever positions in four decades in the year-end FIH rankings.
India are ranked third in men's rankings and ninth in women's section in the year-end rankings revealed on Thursday. Besides the Tokyo Olympics, where they won an Olympic medal after a gap of four decades, the Indian men's hockey team also bagged a bronze medal in the 2021 Asian Champions Trophy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Wednesday.
Australia men and the Netherlands women topped the year-end rankings.
Belgium had overtaken Australia after winning the Olympic gold medal but a draw and defeat to the Netherlands in the FIH Pro League was enough to see the Red Lions lose the top spot to Australia, the team they beat in the final in Tokyo. Australia close the year with 2642.25 points, just ten ahead of FIH Hockey Pro League and Olympic champions Belgium, who have 2632.12.
India sit third with 2296.04, with the Netherlands (2234.33) and Germany (2038.71) in fourth and fifth positions respectively, the FIH said in a release on Thursday.
The top ten is completed by England (6th - 1990.62), Argentina (7th - 1826.11), New Zealand (8th - 1598.24), Spain (9th - 1532.33) and Malaysia (10th - 1427.18).
Asian Champions Trophy winner Korea remain 16th with runners up Japan still in 17th position. Fourth placed finishers Pakistan continue to hold onto 18th place, while Bangladesh have dropped two places to 40, said a FIH release on Thursday.
Alyson Annan's Netherlands women's team enjoyed another sensational year, powering to the FIH Hockey Pro League and European championship titles before landing their fourth Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, defeating Argentina in the competition final.
The Oranje end 2021 with 3015.35 points, over 600 ranking points ahead of second placed England with 2375.78. Olympic silver medallists Argentina will begin 2022 third in the FIH World Rankings, just 14 points behind England with 2361.28 points.
Australia (2334.04) finish the year in fourth place in women's rankings, with Germany (2126.15) and Spain (1959.62) fifth and sixth respectively. Belgium (7th place - 1939.88), New Zealand (8th place - 1821.11), India (9th place - 1810.32) and China (10th place - 1677.96) complete the top ten.