Indian women hockey team lost 3-1 to South Africa in the final match of the Olympic qualifiers on Staurday.
Sadly, this defeat has lengthened the 32 year\\\’s wait of Indian eves to feature in the women\\\’s hockey Olympics.
Indian eves had played in the Olympics in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the year the game was introduced, on an invitational basis.
World number 12 South Africa scored through Shelley Russell , Pietie Coetzee and skipper Marsha Marescia to qualify for the London Olympics.
India, world number 13, paid the price for their defence lapses and lack of finishing as South Africa rode on their better co-ordination, agility and solid defence to crush the hosts at their home ground.
While there was not much difference between the rankings of the two teams, South Africa was clearly the superior side.
Indians crumbled under pressure as they fumbled with the ball and lacked co-ordination. Even though they penetrated the rival camp, the hosts failed to build a single concrete attack.
The fans who showed up with flags and banners found something to cheer about as India managed to convert a penalty corner in the 57th minute.
The Indians tried to create pressure on South Africa but they failed to penetrate the rival defence.
The coach CR Kumar was surprised that the girls failed to handle the pressure.
"There is no derth of talent but the girls did not play to their potential, however, they have a long way to go from here," he said.
India thus had to settle for the silver to continue their 32-year-old jinx of not qualifying for the Olympics.