6. Melbourne 1956 Summer Olympic Games
Balbir Singh Senior (Balbir Singh Dosanjh) led India to what was Independent India’s 3rd Olympic Gold medal in Field Hockey. This medal came at the 1956 Summer Olympics which was hosted at Melbourne, Australia. This edition saw what was India’s five match winning streak to the Olympic Gold medal.
India started off with 14-0 win over minnows Afghanistan. Indian Skipper Balbir Singh led from the front as he was the highest goalscorer with 5. Udham Singh Kullar scored 4-times while Randhir Singh Gentle scored thrice. Gurdev Singh Kullar scored twice in this goal galore. Second match saw India thrashing USA 16-0. Udham Singh Kullar & Hardyal Singh Garchey scored 7 & 5-times respectively. Other goal scorers were Gurdev Singh Kullar & Leslie Claudius who scored thrice and once respectively.
Third match had India beating Singapore 6-0. Udham Singh Kullar & Charles Stephen scored twice, while Randhir Singh Gentle & Hardyal Singh Garchey had one goal each to their credit. Fourth match was against East Germany which was a good side then. In this match against East Germany, India won with the lowest goal difference. It was one goal from Udham Singh Kullar which turned the results table in India’s favor.
Into the final and against the arch-rivals. Yes, India faced Pakistan in the Olympic Hockey tournament’s final. This was again a match with just one goal. This time the goal scorer was Randhir Singh Gentle who scored the lone goal of the gold medal match. India were champions for the 6th time.
This was 6th of the 8 Olympic Hockey Gold medals, India won. Udham Singh Kullar was the highest goalscorer for India with 14 goals.