Guangzhou : Indian men began their hockey campaign with a 7-0 drubbing of Hong Kong in Group B at the Asian Games here Monday.
Bharat put India ahead in the second minute and opened the floodgates.
Drag-flick specialist Sandeep Singh (4th minute, 18th) then converted two penalty corners, before the free-flowing Indian attack toyed with the Hong Kong defence with relentless forays.
Sarvanjit Singh (22nd) scored another goal to make it 4-0 before the breather.
Two minutes into the second half, Tushar Khandekar sounded the board while Arjun Halappa (38th) added another in quick succession.
Shivendra Singh joined the party in the 48th minute to complete the Hong Kong rout.
India will next take on Bangladesh Wednesday and will then meet tougher opponents Pakistan and Japan in the Group.
A gold here would give a team direct entry into the 2012 London Olympics.
A former powerhouse in the sport, India’s last of the two hockey gold medals in Asian Games came in 1998 at Bangkok. In the previous edition in Doha, they failed to finish on the podium for the first time in the Games history.