Bronze at Tokyo 2020: The real men in Blue inspire 1.3 billion people

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Indian Men's Hockey team represents the tricolor before the commencement of the India vs Germany match, at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, in Tokyo on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Our Bureau
Tokyo/New Delhi

The Indian men’s hockey team played with all their heart to bring the entire nation joy on a memorable Thursday as they scripted history with a fantastic 5-4 win against Germany in the Bronze medal play-off match on day thirteen of the Tokyo Olympics.

This victory ended India’s 41-year medal drought at the Olympic Games and scripted the country’s resurgence in global hockey. It was Simranjeet Singh (17′, 34′), Hardik Singh (27′), Harmanpreet Singh (29′), Rupinder Pal Singh (31′) who scored while PR Sreejesh came up with some outstanding saves in the dying seconds of a historic win at the Tokyo Olympics.

India men’s hockey skipper Manpreet Singh on Thursday dedicated the bronze medal win at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics to all the COVID-19 warriors who have been working to save lives during the pandemic.

It took 41 years, but the dream of every Indian was finally realised on Thursday as the men’s hockey team beat Germany 5-4 to win the bronze medal here at the Oi Hockey Stadium — North Pitch. “And, now the long waiting dream has been fulfilled. This was a collective effort, from all the players, coaches and support staff. Their unrelenting backing has resulted in a positive outcome today. I dedicate this victory to the COVID warriors, who have been working relentlessly to save lives. This medal came after 41 long years and I’m confident that my team will continue to improve and perform better in the upcoming events also,” Manpreet said in a statement on Twitter.

“At the end, a gratitude to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, Ministry of Sports, Hockey India, SAI, 10A, Punjab Police for the constant support and motivation towards the National Hockey Team,” he added.

The Men in Blue showed absolute resilience, strength, and winning spirit to register a remarkable comeback win against a strong German team.

Sports enthusiasts and players of K. D. Singh Babu stadium celebrate after the Indian Hockey team won a Bronze medal in the men’s hockey match against Germany, in Lucknow on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

In New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said August 5, 2021, will remain one of the most memorable days for every hockey lover and sports enthusiast after the Indian men’s hockey team ended its 41-year medal drought at the Olympic Games on Thursday.

In a series of tweets, PM Modi hailed every player of the hockey team after the side won the bronze medal in the mega sporting event.

“Hockey has a special place in the hearts and minds of every Indian. For every hockey lover and sports enthusiast, 5th August 2021 will remain one of the most memorable days,” PM Modi tweeted.

In the match against Germany, goalkeeper PR Sreejesh came up with some outstanding saves in the dying seconds of the crucial match.

Prime Minister lauded Sreejesh for a “spectacular performance” and said his saves played a big part in earning the medal.

Meanwhile, after the Indian Women’s Hockey team’s defeat against Great Britain in the bronze medal clash at Tokyo Olympics, Captain Rani Rampal’s father on Friday said that it is not a defeat but a win for the effort put in by the team and their performance will inspire many girls in future.

Rani’s father Rampal was pleased with the team’s Tokyo Olympics journey and said that she will be welcomed happily on her return. “This is not a defeat but a win for the effort put in by the women’s hockey team. Rani will be welcomed happily on her return. The women’s hockey team will inspire many girls in future,” Rampal told ANI.

While player Neha Goyal’s mother Savitri Devi said that winning and losing is a part of the game and the team will win again in future. “Winning and losing is a part of the game. I’m sure that the team will win again,” Goyal’s mother said.

Player Gurjeet Kaur’s brother Gurucharan Singh said that even though the team lost, it was still a matter of pride to witness girls play at this level. “It is not really a loss. It’s a matter of pride for us to see our girls reach so far,” said Gurucharan, whose sister scored 2 goals in the match.

Gurjeet’s father also said that they had been using their generator to watch the match on TV since there was no electricity since last night.

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