In a moment of glory, the Indian hockey team scripted history by bringing bronze medal home to end the 41-year Olympic medal drought. A billion hearts were beating fast today and millions of eyes teared up as India’s men’s hockey team defeated Germany 5-4.
The encounter was a thrilling one to say the least with both the teams making the best of penalty corners in each quarter of the game. With clinching the bronze, Indian hockey team has 12 medals overall including 8 gold medals.
A wait which lasted more than 4 decades finally ended when Indian men’s hockey team finally got a medal match victory and defeated Germany in a 5-4 on Thursday, August 5. After a day which saw javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra making it to his final and wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya assuring at least a silver medal, all eyes were on the Indian hockey team.
Indian Team’s Journey at Olympic So Far
The men’s hockey team had quite a journey in the Tokyo Olympics with first suffering an agonizing 1-7 defeat at Australian team’s hands in just their second game. But the team came back in the tournament in style and won 4 back-to-back matches before it crashed out of the tournament by losing to Belgium 2-5.
Quarter 1 – Germany Registers Early Lead
The first quarter began and Indian fans for hoping for a goal’s lead. However, the first few minutes of the game were nightmarish for Indian fans as Germany took an easy 1-0 lead thanks to Tumur Oruz’s goal. The rest of the quarter saw Germany being on the offense and trying to breach the Indian defense. Thankfully, the defense was tight and no more goals were conceded.
Quarter 2 – Multiple Goals by Ind and Germany, Score 3-3
The second quarter began and India roared with a brilliant comeback. Thanks to Simranjeet’s perfectly placed shot, India levelled the score 1-1. But the happiness didn’t last long as Germany capitalized on India’s defensive errors to play 2 consecutive goals and take the score to 1-2. It looked like all roads were leading to a disastrous defeat for India. However, India was given 2 penalty corners – both of which were converted, and soon the scoreboard read 3-3 at halftime.
Quarter 3 – Rupinder Pal Singh Converts PC, Lead Extended to 3-5
The next two quarters transpired like they came out of a Bollywood movie. They were full of action, drama and emotions. One such moment came when Rupinder Pal Singh was able to convert a penalty corner while his comrade Mandeep got trapped in the scoring D. The score read 3-4 and India turned up the ante to strike one more clean goal to take the lead to 3-5.
Quarter 4 – The Nail-Biting Finish, History is Created
The final quarter saw German defender Lukas Windfeder narrowing the gap by converting a penalty corner and taking the score to 4-5. The final few minutes of the game were pulsating and quite frankly, ill-advised for people with faint hearts. As the clock was counting down to the final few seconds, Germany was awarded a penalty corner.
Indian goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh saved the day and became the hero of the match by saving the strike made by Windfeder.
PM Modi, SRK, Sehwag and more laud Indian Team
After the game, prominent political leaders from all different parties, sportspersons and prominent celebrities took to Twitter to congratulate the Indian hockey team.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and wrote, “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.”
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. 🏑
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 5, 2021
India’s sports minister Anurag Thakur congratulated the Indian team and said how the “Men’s Hockey Team dominated and defined their destiny in the Olympic history books today, yet again !”
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 !
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) August 5, 2021
Here are other prominent figures who took time to congratulate the Indian hockey team
Chak De Fattey ! Burraaah
A landmark day for @TheHockeyIndia
After being down 3-1, INDIA fights back to win the bronze medal match 5-3, a first Olympic medal in #Hockey after 40 years. Mazaa aa gaya #IndvsGer pic.twitter.com/0T3ssVPnRG
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 5, 2021
A medal in hockey is a special feeling, especially for our generation. Outstanding from this team. I hope it leads to a hockey revolution and a lot more funding. Till then let us celebrate.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 5, 2021
After 41 years, our Indian men’s hockey team script history by bringing home a medal. I congratulate our guys who have reignited our national sport with this victory. #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/bxiI9PY8TL
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) August 5, 2021
A wait of 4 decades comes to an end by sheer determination, hard work & perseverance! Thank you Team Hockey India, your historic win has fulfilled dreams of a Billion+ & energised our young to aspire to rise to greater heights! I bow in awe and gratitude 🙏
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) August 5, 2021
Wow!! Indian Men’s Hockey Team Congratulations. Resilience and skill at its peak. What an exciting match.
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) August 5, 2021
History! Congratulations to our hockey team on creating history! An outstanding achievement that won’t be forgotten 🇮🇳 👏 pic.twitter.com/2ZQQUk8mxl
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) August 5, 2021
What an emotional moment for India! Hockey team creates history. Congrats Team Hockey! Congrats India! pic.twitter.com/xT01V6UDZJ
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 5, 2021