Tokyo: The disappointment that had clouded many a heart and mind after the Indian men’s hockey team suffered a loss in the semi-finals turned into a wave of celebration. Team India defeated German 5-4 in the play-off for the bronze medal.
This is the first time that India has won a medal in hockey after 1980 when the team had won its eighth gold medal at the Games.
After the win, the team’s coach Graham Reid said, “I know that apart from the country, this group has dreamt about a medal for a long time. I know how much it means to India. It’s an honour to be able to do that. It’s been one of the signatures these guys have tried to develop, to always come back. I asked the guys to bring this to the next level, if something happens, to come back. And they did that very well.”
This was his fifth Olympic which, he said, “is a huge thing in the world of sport.” “For me, personally it’s a great thing to be able to be involved in. I told the guys (after the semi defeat), that in 1988 we (Australia) came fourth. And it was not a very nice thing. I told them, we can’t change that, but we can change the future. And we did that today,” he added.
Family members, friends and relatives of the players who had been watching the match live could be seen celebrating the win.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, too, congratulated the team. “Brilliant in Blue Congratulations Indian Men’s #Hockey Team on the spectacular victory to give us an Olympic medal after 41 long years. This historic win at #Tokyo2020 will inspire generation of sportspersons. All the very best for future,” he tweeted.
Odisha government has been the official sponsor of both, men and women’s hockey teams since 2018. It became the first state government to sponsor a national game after signing a reported Rs 150 crore deal for five years.
Congratulations, Team India!
‘Historic! A day that will be etched in the memory of every Indian. Congratulations to our Men’s Hockey Team for bringing home the Bronze. With this feat, they have captured the imagination of the entire nation, especially our youth. India is proud of our Hockey team,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sports minister Anurag Thakur tweeted, “A BILLION CHEERS for INDIA! Boys, you’ve done it ! We can’t keep calm ! #TeamIndia Our Men’s Hockey Team dominated and defined their destiny in the Olympic history books today, yet again ! We are extremely proud of you!”
Bronze it is…The wait of 4 decades comes to an end. Indian Men’s Hockey team wins Olympic medal after a gap of 41 years,” said the post by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
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