Mandeep Singh of India in action against Alexander Stadler
India's men's hockey team rewrote history by winning an Olympic medal after forty-one years, beating a brave Germany 5-4 to claim the bronze medal in the ongoing games on Thursday. The last time India received a medal in hockey was at the Moscow Games in 1980, where they won gold. On Thursday, India brought an end to the medal jinx, overcoming the Germans in a thrilling win. Simranjeet Singh scored twice while Hardik Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, and Rupinder Pal Singh also got their names on the scoring list for India.
The former eight-time gold medalist, who has struggled with heartbreak for the past four years, has revived the remaining two years with an Olympic medal in the best possible way. Simranjeet Singh (17', 34') scored twice while Hardik Singh (27'), Harmanpreet Singh (29'), and Rupinder Pal Singh (31') was India's alternate scorers. The German dreams were realized 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 sports history, struggling to come back from a goal deficit to return the match in their favor. Germany pushed hard in the end zone and managed to score one against India but out because of the numerous penalty corner. However, the Indian players defended stoically and controlled to keep their one-goal lead intact. With seconds to go, Germany was awarded a penalty corner. However, PR Sreejesh deflected the ball off target as the Indian players happily fell to the ground, finally ending the long wait for an Olympic hockey medal.
There were tears and hugs on the fields as the Indians, led by Manpreet Singh and coached by Australian Graham Reid, clinched a historic moment. This is India's third bronze medal in hockey in Olympic records. The other came here to Mexico City in 1968 and to the Munich Games in 1972.