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Chennai Gives Boost To Hockey, Will Other States Follow?

Chennai has set an example by hosting the Hero Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) and enabling local fans to look at modern Indian hockey athletes in action. International hockey in India — and this includes two World Cups — was confined to Odisha, whose Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has walked the extra mile to embrace the sport by resolving to support hockey till 2033. But the sport demanded it to be advertised across the country. India’s men and women’s teams achieved a lot at the Tokyo Olympics, but the men’s and women’s team has to win the gold medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China to seal the berth for the Summer Olympics in Paris next year. Chennai, which has given a lot to Indian men’s hockey has taken the lead to promote the game in a big way and encourage other States to deploy money for a sport that India dominated playing on grass. The locals in the Southern city ought to have been thrilled at the home team winning the title after trailing 1-3 against Malaysia.  India did not lose a single match in the six-team tournament but must have got a fair idea of how to go about winning the Asian Games gold.  It’s time now for Maharashtra — which has excelled in the National Games and two Khelo India Youth Games —  to host a big event to revive hockey in Mumbai, home to many Olympians.