The celebrations started simultaneously in Tokyo and across India for a trophy that’s taken 41 years to forge.
For the foremost successful nation in the Olympic hockey competition, India’s 5-4 victory over Germany within the bronze-medal match at the Tokyo Games was celebrated sort of a gold.
It was India’s 12th Olympic medal within the sport, but its first since 1980.
India forward Simranjeet Singh stood out from the opposite players by scoring two goals for India, including the winning goal of the match.
“It’s a dream come true,” Simranjeet said. “We’ve made 1.3 billion Indians proud by finishing on stage .”
India captain Manpreet Singh dedicated the medal to the country’s healthcare workers in the midst of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“As the entire team and as coaches, we might wish to dedicate this medal to our doctors and (health workers) who have […] saved numerous people’s lives there in India and everywhere during this world,” he said.
“So we might wish to dedicate this medal to those warriors.”
Singh said the preparation for the Tokyo Games felt love it had been more like 15 years than 15 months.
India rallied from 3-1 down then fended off a German penalty corner within a previous couple of seconds.
“It’s wonderful for hockey. most of the people probably understand that it’s the national game, or well it wont to be the national game of the country,” India coach Graham Reid said.
“And in fact, everyone involved hockey wants to ascertain it back thereto, and hopefully we’ve done our small little part in doing that today.
“It’s an incredible feeling, I need to admit. It’s come after tons of sacrifices. It takes an extended time to urge where these athletes have gotten over this era, and every one the sacrifices that go unseen, I think, came back decidedly today.”
India won seven Olympic gold medals between 1928 and 1964 — losing only within 1960 final therein run. Then there was an enormous gap until another trophy in 1980.
An UNFORGETTABLE moment! 🙌😍
— #Tokyo2020 for India (@Tokyo2020hi) August 5, 2021
Between the Moscow Games and Tokyo, India placed no above fifth.
Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh, who was among the five scorers against Germany, cry as he predicted the beginning of a renaissance for the game in India.
“People were forgetting hockey in India. They loved hockey, but they stopped hoping that we will win,” the Press Trust of India quoted him as saying. “But we won today. they will expect more from us in the future. Keep believing in us.”
#WATCH | Manipur: Family members and neighours of hockey player Nilakanta Sharma in Imphal dance as they celebrate the victory of team India in Men's Hockey.
— ANI (@ANI) August 5, 2021
India’s women’s team features a chance to win a medal, too.
After finishing fourth in 1980 and 12th in 2016 in their only previous trips to the Olympics, India’s women’s team will play for bronze against Britain on Friday.