India’s Men’s Hockey captain Manpreet Singh was proud of his team after the team ended their 41-year wait at the Olympics to win a medal in Hockey. India had last won a medal in the 1980 Moscow Games where they managed a Bronze medal. India once again won Bronze after beating Germany by 5-4 at Oi Stadium, Tokyo on Thursday in a thrilling encounter.
Timur Oruz was able to put Germany in front but India bounced back when Simranjeet Singh scored after an assist from Nilakanta Sharma. However, Germany was quick to bounce back.
It was see-saw battle as India soon took a 3-1 lead but Germany once again made a comeback. India committed some silly defensive errors and the Germans were quick to pounce upon them. Simranjeet Singh scored a brace whereas Rupinder Pal Singh (Penalty Stroke), Harmanpreet Singh (Penalty Corner) and Hardik Singh (Rebound) scored one goal each to take India to emphatic win and create history.
“I don’t know what to say right now, it was fantastic. The effort, the game, we were 3-1 down. I think we deserve this medal. We have worked so hard, the last 15 months were difficult for us also, we were in Bangalore and some of us got COVID also,” Manpreet recalled as quoted by PTI.
“We would like to dedicate this medal to doctors and frontline health workers who have saved so many lives in India,” he said.
In fact, the Indian players had their heart in their mouth as they conceded a shot corner in the last six seconds of the match. However, P. R Sreejesh, who was brilliant right throughout the Tokyo Olympics, was able to save it.
“It was difficult, they got a penalty corner in the last six seconds. We thought we have got to save it with our lives. It is really hard. I am speechless right now,” said the skipper.
“We had a long gap when we didn’t get a medal. Now we will get more confidence, yes we can do it. If we can finish on the podium in the Olympics, we can finish on the podium anywhere,” he added.
Bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics is certainly a new ray of hope for Indian Hockey and hopefully this massive win will bring a new chapter in the country’s sporting history.