Indian men's hockey team clinches bronze at Tokyo Olympics 2020, end 41-year-old medal drought

India's bronze medal is its first Olympic hockey medal after it won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.

Created On: Aug 5, 2021 13:26 IST
India wins bronze in men's hockey at Olympics 2020
India wins bronze in men's hockey at Olympics 2020

Indian men's hockey team created history on August 5, 2021 by winning the bronze medal after a stunning 5-4 victory over Germany in the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. The team has brought home India's first Olympic medal in hockey after 41 years.

Germany had taken an early lead in the first quarter of the bronze medal match however, India equalised it. Germany then scored two goals to take its lead to 3-1 in the second quarter. Team India with the help of goals by  Hardik Singh and Harmanpreet Singh equalised it again to 3-3 at halftime. 

India's Rupinder Pal Singh and Simranjeet Singh then scored to push India in the lead at 5-3. India maintained its lead in the thriller all the way to pick up the bronze.  Though German scored another goal and then brought in an extra field player in place of its goalie but was unable to score an equaliser. 

India's bronze medal is its first Olympic hockey medal after it won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Indian Men’s Hockey Captain Manpreet Singh, Head Coach Graham Reid and Assistant Coach Piyush Dubey to congratulate them. He congratulated the team for emerging victorious and bringing home the Bronze from #Tokyo2020. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted, "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."

Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur also tweeted, "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 ! We are extremely proud of you!"

President Ram Nath Kovind also congratulated the Indian men's hockey team for winning an Olympic Medal in hockey after 41 years.  He said, "the team showed exceptional skills, resilience & determination to win. This historic victory will start a new era in hockey & will inspire youth to take up."

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also said, "Brilliant in Blue. Congratulations Indian Men’s Hockey Team on the spectacular victory to give us an Olympic medal after 41 long years. This historic win at #Tokyo2020 will inspire generation of sportspersons. All the very best for the future." Odisha state is the official national sponsor for the Indian hockey teams. 

The Odisha CM also spoke with the Indian team to congratulate them for winning the Bronze medal in match against Germany. The Chief Minister has invited the Indian Olympic hockey team to Bhubaneswar on August 16. 

Punjab, MP announce cash prize of 1 crore to hockey players

The Punjab Government has announced a cash award of Rs 1 crore each to the Indian men's hockey team players from the state 

The Madhya Pradesh government has also announced Rs 1 crore cash price for the hockey players who were trained in the state- Vivek Sagar and Nilakantha.

Why is this important?

•The Indian men's hockey team has simply been fantastic throughout the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, losing just once to Australia in the group stage and then against Belgium in the semifinals. The team has put up a strong performance throughout and this helped them get the bronze medal with another stunning win. 

•The victory is extremely significant as it indicates towards the revival of field hockey in the country, after 41 years. 

 •India Men's hockey team coach Graham Reid tweeted a picture after the team won Bronze in Tokyo #Olympics saying, " Pretty proud of these legends!"

•The Indian hockey team had not been fairing too well in the last few decades as performances had dried up. From winning the gold medal almost every time in the Summer Olympics between 1950-1980, the men's field hockey team failed to get a single Olympic medal ever since. 

•The period after the 1980 Olympic success saw a decline in India's performance and the following decades proved to be full of ups and downs for the national team. However, there was a resurgence in 1998 and ever since the team has been trying to rebuild itself. 

•The recent bronze medal victory over Germany has brought back a glimpse of the old glory and dominance due to the diligent efforts of the team led by captain Manpreet Singh. 

•Both the men's and women's teams had spent the last year and a half in SAI Bengaluru to train, strategise and adapt to the bubble life. 

•Hockey India also arranged tours for the teams and received tremendous support from the government of Odisha, who came on board as official sponsors of the teams three years back, becoming the only state to sponsor a national team.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also noted the marvelous performance by both men's and women's hockey teams at Tokyo Olympic 2020 after the women's semifinal match, which they lost by just one goal despite putting up a strong fight. 

PM Modi tweeted, "One of the things we will remember #Tokyo2020 for is the stupendous performance by our Hockey teams. Today and through the Games, our Women’s Hockey team played with grit and showcased great skill. Proud of the team. Best of luck for the game ahead and for future endeavours."

India's Olympic medals in hockey

The Indian field hockey team has won seven Olympic gold medals between 1928 and 1964, losing only in 1960 final to claim silver. India claimed the gold medal again in 1980 but has been evaded of it ever since. 

Overall, this was India's 12th medal in hockey at the Olympics. This makes India the most  successful team in men's hockey at the Olympics, followed by Germany that has won 11 medals so far, Australia that has won 9 and the Netherlands that has won 9 medals as well at the Olympics. 

Indian men's hockey at Summer Olympics 1928-2021 

Olympic Games 

Position

1928 Amsterdam Olympics, Netherlands Gold
1932 Los Angeles Olympics, United States Gold
1936 Berlin Olympics, Germany Gold
1948 London Olympics, United Kingdom Gold
1952 Helsinki Olympics, Finland Gold
1956 Melbourne Olympics, Australia Gold
1960 Rome Olympics, Italy Silver
1964 Tokyo Olympics, Japan Gold
1968 Mexico City Olympics, Mexico Bronze
1972 Munich Olympics, West Germany Bronze
 1976 Montreal Olympics, Canada 7th
1980 Moscow Olympics, Soviet Union Gold
 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, United States 5th
1988 Seoul Olympics, South Korea 6th
1992 Barcelona Olympics, Spain 7th
1996 Atlanta Olympics, United States 8th
2000 Sydney Olympics, Australia 7th
2004 Athens Olympics, Greece 7th
2008 Beijing Olympics, China DNQ
2012 London Olympics, United Kingdom 12th
2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Brazil 8th
2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japan Bronze

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