What an Olympic medal means for Indian hockey

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India’s men’s hockey team has brought an Olympic medal home for the first time in 41 years.

Today (Aug. 5), India defeated Germany 5-4 to win bronze. This is India’s fourth medal in Tokyo so far.

After a stellar 3-1 win against Great Britain in the quarter-finals on Aug. 1, India sailed into the semi-finals against Belgium with confidence. At half-time during the Aug. 2 match, the two teams were tied 2-2. But the game got away from India in the next 45 minutes with Belgium winning 5-2, costing its chance at winning gold.

Once a nation of hockey legends, India had fallen from grace over the last few decades. But the resilience displayed in Tokyo 2020 has emotions running high. Even with gold out of reach for the men’s team, Indians rallied behind the team as they gunned for bronze.

India’s history with hockey🏅

From 1928 to 1956, India’s men’s field hockey team won six consecutive Olympic gold medals at the game. Pakistan broke the streak in Rome in 1960, relegating India to silver, but it bounced back to come out on top during the 1964 Tokyo Games.

The winning streak in the 40s and 50s led to hockey being touted as the country’s national sport. Only in 2012, when the authorities replied to a 10-year-old girl’s right to information request, was it revealed that India in fact has no national sport.

The glory has since abated. India only won the gold once again, in 1980 in Moscow. Between then and now, it had secured no medals in the sport.

Some blame grass fields being traded for artificial turfs in 1976 for the slump. Others have pinned the poor show on mismanagement and false pride. Not only did the sports authority not lay down enough astroturf for training, but teams also suffered at the hands of internal politics and red tape.

Regardless, India’s hockey teams have put up a tough fight this time around. The women’s team made it to the Olympic semi-finals for the first time ever this year. Argentina beat them 2-1, though, quashing India’s hopes of a medal.

Besides the medals, a bigger win is perhaps India’s renewed hope in the sport.

India Hockey Team Olympics: Meet the Indian men’s hockey team which broke a 41 year medal jinx

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1 / 10 Tokyo Olympics 2020: India win bronze after dramatic victory over Germany Previous Next Show Captions

India won the bronze medal in hockey after a thrilling 5-4 victory over Germany at the Tokyo Games on Thursday, giving the country its first Olympic medal in the sport in more than forty years. (PTI Photo)

India forward Simranjeet Singh stood out from the other players by scoring two goals for India, including the winning goal of the match. (PTI Photo)

Eight-time Olympic champions, Germany took an early lead through a second-minute goal by Timur Oruz (2R), and posed a threat to India in the first quarter. (Reuters Photo)

After Simranjeet equalised with a backhand shot for India, Germany kept their cool, scoring two goals to take a 3-1 lead in the second quarter. (Reuters Photo)

India pulled level late in that quarter thanks to goals by Hardik Singh and Harmanpreet Singh, making it 3-3 at the halftime break. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

India then took a 4-3 lead after Rupinder Pal Singh notched in a penalty stroke. (AP Photo)

Simranjeet scored the winning goal of the match not long into the second half. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Germany came back a goal and tried to force the equaliser, even taking out its goalkeeper to bring in an extra field player late in the game. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

India goalie Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran, who was a star of the match with nine saves. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Indian hockey players and coach Graham Reid celebrate after winning bronze medal against Germany at Tokyo Olympics. (PTI Photo)

Indian Men’s Hockey team (current)

Major achievements:

Full India Men’s hockey squad for Tokyo Olympics:







Tokyo Olympics 2020: India beat Germany 5-4 to win historic bronze medal in men’s hockey

There was a school of thought before the Tokyo Olympics began that these Games could well be a historic edition for Indian sport. While the Indian contingent is well on target to go past the maximum number of medals won at a single edition of the Games (6 in 2012), history has already been made on the hockey pitch.Field hockey, a sport which India has such a rich history and tradition of. A sport which has given the country as many as 11 Olympic medals, including 8 golds (1928 - 1980) has reignited its love affair on the Olympic stage with India.The last time India had won a hockey medal at the Olympics was way back in 1980, when the country won its last gold. Now, a 41 year jinx has finally been broken, thanks to an edge of your seat thriller of a bronze medal match, which saw India beat Germany 5-4.With this, the Indian contingent have registered their 5th medal at the Tokyo Olympics (Mirabai Chanu, Lovlina Borgohain, PV Sindhu, Ravi Dahiya, Indian men’s hockey team) and overall the 12th Olympic medal won in men’s field hockey by India at the Olympics.Here’s everything you need to know about the current Indian men’s hockey team, which will stand on the podium in Tokyo to collect a historic bronze medal soon:Bronze in Tokyo OlympicsBronze in 2018 Jakarta Asian GamesSilver in 2018 Breda Champions TrophyGold in 2018 Muscat Asian Champions TrophyGold in 2017 Dhaka Asia CupBronze in 2016-17 Bhubaneswar World LeagueSilver in 2016 London Champions TrophySilver in 2016 Guwahati South Asian GamesBronze in 2014-15 Raipur World LeagueGold in 2014 Incheon Asian GamesSilver in 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth GamesSilver in 2013 Ipoh Asia CupGold in 2011 Ordos City Asian Champions TrophyIndia were once a force to be reckoned with in men’s hockey having won as many as eight gold medals at the Olympic Games. In fact, the last time the Games were held in Japan, in 1964, India won the gold medal. But after the gold in the 1980 edition, the wait for the next Men’s hockey medal at the Olympics has been a very long one.At Tokyo 2020, the 16-member Indian team was led by mid-fielder Manpreet Singh, who was the first Indian hockey player to be named the FIH men’s hockey player of the year - in 2019.The Indian team has done well under Manpreet’s captaincy over the past four years, having won the Asia Cup in 2017, the Asian Champions Trophy in 2018 and the FIH Series Final in 2019. They also reached the quarterfinals in the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar.These were Manpreet’s third Olympic Games and he had two deputies in defenders Birendra Lakra and Harmanpreet Singh.Harmanpreet made his senior India debut in 2015 and in the absence of skipper Manpreet in 2019, led the Indian team to a win at the FIH Olympic Test event in Tokyo.But the most interesting fact about this Indian squad is that out of the 16 players, as many as 10 players featured in their maiden Olympics.These 10 players are: Amit Rohidas, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit, Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Birendra Lakra.Birendra Lakra had missed the 2016 Rio Olympics due to a knee surgery.The Indian players seemed to have learnt from the experience of defenders Rupinder Pal Singh and Surender Kumar and forward Mandeep Singh, who were all part of the previous Indian Olympic squad in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.Krishan Bahadur Pathak missed out on an Olympic berth despite being an integral part of the team and former skipper PR Sreejesh was the lone goalkeeper in the squad. However Pathak did travel with the suad to Tokyo as the stand-by goal-keeper.India were clubbed alongside defending champions Argentina, three-time world champions and current world no.1 Australia, New Zealand, Spain and hosts Japan in Pool A. India lost only to the Aussies (1-7), but won all their remaining matches to enter the quarter-finals.In the quarters, India beat Great Britain 3-1 to storm into the semi-finalsHowever in the semis, India lost to former world number one team Belgium 2-5. That result meant they entered the bronze medal match where they played Germany.The Germans are ranked 6th in the world, one place below India (5). It was end to end hockey on Thursday morning as neither team wanted to give an inch. The match momentum and scoreline sung like a pendulum. But in the end, India managed to hold on to a slender one goal difference to win the match 5-4 and with it a historic bronze medal.It will be a very very sweet win for the whole team, which has so many young guns. It will be especially pleasing for the likes of seniors like Manpreet, Rupinder Pal Singh and PR Sreejesh who have put in years and years of hard work into Indian hockey. The coach Graham Reid must also be congratulated for shaping this Indian team and taking them back to the Olympic podium for the first time since 1980.A wait of 41 years has finally ended.PR SreejeshHarmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birendra LakraHardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, SumitShamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep SinghKrishan Pathak (goal-keeper), Varun Kumar (defender), Simranjit Singh (midfielder)Graham Reid

8 golds, 1 silver, 3 bronzes: Full list of India’s 12 Olympic medals in hockey

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India’s 41-year-long wait for an Olympic medal in hockey came to an end on Thursday when the men’s hockey team beat Germany 5-4 to take the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. This was India’s first podium finish at the Games since their gold-medal-winning run in 1980 Moscow Olympics.

This was India’s third bronze and 12th hockey medal overall at the Games. Here is a list of all the podium finishes in hockey that India have achieved so far in the quadrennial showpiece. The country is the most successful team in the Olympics.

1928 Amsterdam Olympics: GOLD

India won their first medal in Olympic hockey by beating Netherlands 3-0 in the finals of the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. This was also India’s first gold medal ever at the Olympics.

1932, Los Angeles: GOLD

India successfully defended their title four years later in Los Angeles and bagged consecutive gold medals in the Olympics. In the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932, India defeated USA 24-1, which continuous to be biggest margin of victory in the history Olympics hockey.

1936, Berlin: GOLD

The Dhyan Chand-led Indian side completed a hat-trick of golds in Olympics by beating Germany 8-1 – the biggest margin in Olympics hockey finals – in front of their home crowd in Berlin in 1936.

1948, London: GOLD

India continued their domination in the Games despite the 1940 and 1944 getting cancelled due to the second World War. This was India’s first medal in Olympics after independence and what made it sweeter was the fact that they had beaten Great Britain 4-0 in the finals.

1952, Helsinki: GOLD

Balbir Singh Sr scored five goals in the Olympics final against Netherlands as India won their fifth straight gold medal at the mega event.

1956, Melbourne: GOLD

In what marked as the beginning of the battle between the arch-rivals, India beat neighbours Pakistan 1-0 in the finals in Melbourne to win another gold.

1960, Rome: SILVER

The 0-1 loss to Pakistan ended India’s six straight Olympic gold-winning run in the Rome Olympics in 1960. The Indian men’s hockey team had to be satisfied with a silver.

1964, Tokyo: GOLD

India came back strongly in the next Olympics held in Tokyo and beat Pakistan in the finals to bag their seventh gold in the Olympics.

1968, Mexico City: BRONZE

This was the first time that the Indian team failed to make the finals of an Olympic. They were beaten by Australia in the semi-final and had to be settled with a bronze after beating West Germany.

1972, Munich: BRONZE

India once again failed to make it to the finals of the Olympics after they were beaten by Pakistan in the semifinals. India beat Netherlands to claim their second bronze.

1980, Moscow: GOLD

In the Olympic Games played in a format which did not have semi-finals, India beat Spain in the finals to claim their 8th gold medal in Olympics.

2021, Tokyo: BRONZE

India beat Germany 5-4 to bag their 12th medal in the Olympics – a bronze – after 41 years.