Indian hockey team wins bronze medal at Olympic Games

By: News Desk      Published: 12:24 PM, 5 Aug, 2021
Indian hockey team wins bronze medal at Olympic Games
India's goalkeeper Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran (R) and teammate Hardik Singh (R) and Germany's Mats Jurgen Grambusch fall during the men's bronze medal match of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games field hockey competition, at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo.–AFP

A resolute Indian men's hockey team rewrote history as it claimed an Olympic medal after 41 years, defeating a plucky Germany 5-4 to win the bronze in an edge-of-the-seat play-off match of the ongoing Games in Tokyo on Thursday.

The eight-time former gold-winners, who battled a heartbreaking slump in the last four decades, made the resurgence of the last couple of years count in the best way possible with an Olympic medal.

Their bronze, which is worth its weight in gold for the sheer emotion and nostalgia that hockey invokes in the country, became India's fifth medal at the ongoing Games.

Simranjeet Singh (17th, 34th minutes) scored a brace, while Hardik Singh (27th), Harmanpreet Singh (29th) and Rupinder Pal Singh (31st) were the other goal-getters for world no.3 India.

Germany's goals were scored by Timur Oruz (2nd), Niklas Wellen (24th), Benedikt Furk (25th) and Lukas Windfeder (48th).

Determined to clinch a medal, the Indians made one of the most memorable comebacks in the history of the game, fighting back from a two-goal deficit to turn the match in their favour after being 1-3 down thanks to some defensive lapses.

There were tears and hugs on the field as the Indians led by Manpreet Singh and coached by Australian Graham Reid savoured the historic moment.

It is India's third hockey bronze medal in the history of the Olympics. The other two came in 1968 Mexico City and the 1972 Munich Games.

For world no.5 Germany it was heart-break as they couldn't repeat their bronze medal winning feat of the 2016 Rio Games.