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India win bronze medal in Olympics hockey event

Side defeated Germany in the game

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 5, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 months ago
Posted: Aug 5, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 months ago

Photo: Hockey India

India’s men won their first Olympic hockey medal in 41 years Thursday, snaring bronze with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Germany.

The medal in Tokyo possesses enormous significance for India, a former hockey powerhouse which has a proud record of eight Olympic gold medals in the sport.

Modi was quick to congratulate the team, which has been starved of Olympic success since claiming gold at the Moscow Games in 1980.

“Historic! A day that will be etched in the memory of every Indian,” he tweeted after the come-from-behind win.

“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.”

Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh echoed Modi’s hopes the result would inspire a new generation to take up hockey, reviving former glories in a nation where cricket dominates the sporting landscape.

“It’s a rebirth. That’s it. It’s been 41 years,” he said.

“In 1980 we won the last medal and after that, nothing. This gives a boost and gives energy to the youngsters to pick up hockey and play this game. This is a beautiful game.”

India were down 3-1 early but overturned the deficit to go into the final quarter leading 5-3, before a fourth German goal set up a tense close.

Sreejesh pulled off a crucial save in the dying seconds as Germany threw everything into attack, sinking to his knees when the match was over.

Sreejesh said before the Tokyo Games that India would be playing in memory of former hockey-playing Olympians who lost their lives in the coronavirus pandemic.

Two members of India’s 1980 gold medal-winning team, Ravindra Pal Singh and Maharaj Krishan Kaushik, died from Covid-19 on the same day in May.

Keshav Datt, who was part of winning teams in 1948 and 1952, died in July, although his death was due to age-related illness.

India’s women’s hockey team has also excelled in Tokyo and will play Great Britain for bronze on Friday after eliminating gold medal favourites Australia in the quarters.

Australia and Belgium will play for the men’s hockey gold medal later Thursday.

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India, Olympics, hockey, Germany, Tokyo Olympics, Bronze Medal
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