India celebrated its victory as the men’s national field hockey team took home bronze at the Tokyo Games, which team captain Manpreet Singh dedicated to COVID-19 frontline workers.
Breaking the jinx: India and Germany’s match came to an end with a final score of 5-4, in favor of India, for the bronze medal match on Thursday, according to NDTV.
- Despite Germany taking the early game, India still managed to up its score and maintain a one-score lead into the final quarter. But the winning moment came from goalkeeper Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh, who managed to repel Germany’s penalty shot.
- Thursday’s event marks India’s first win in 41 years in the sport. The country’s last victory was at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, where the national team took home the gold medal, India Times reported.
- The South Asian country received five medals at the Tokyo Games, and its men’s field hockey team has 12 medals total in Olympics history.
- Team captain Singh was the first Indian field hockey player named FIH men’s hockey player of the year in 2019.
- Outside of the Olympics, the team won the Asia Cup in 2017, the Asian Champions Trophy in 2018 and the FIH Series Final in 2019.
Dedication: Singh promised in June that the team would dedicate any medal they receive at the Tokyo Games, India Today reported.
- Singh managed to deliver on his promise. The team captain said he was “speechless” by the victory, The Bridge reported.
- “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,” Singh said post-match. “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.”
- “We would like to dedicate this medal to doctors and frontline health workers who have saved so many lives in India,” Singh added.
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