India hockey at Tokyo Olympics | Photo courtesy: Video grab/Sony Liv

Indian men’s hockey team created history on August 5 as they won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, ending a 4-decade long wait to win any medal at the quadrennial event.

Team India beat Germany in the bronze medal match 5-4 at Tokyo on August 5.

India last won an Olympics medal in hockey in 1980 when they won the gold.

This was India’s best finish at the event since then.

On August 5, India saw Germany take an early lead with Timur Oruz scoring within two minutes of the bronze-medal match. Germany troubled Indian defense in the first quarter, but could not find a way to extend the lead.

In the second quarter, India saw Simranjeet Singh scoring from a well-executed tomahawk shot, but defensive errors lead to Germany scoring two more goals within two minutes making it 3-1 in their favour.

Just when it looked India might be in trouble, two penalty corners for India yielded results as Hardik Singh scored on the rebound from the first one, while Harmanpreet Singh scored another with a superb dragflick on to the back of the nets.

India took the lead next as Rupinder Pal Singh scores from a penalty stroke. India attained the penalty stroke as Mandeep Singh was tripped inside the circle.

Within minutes, India scored another with Gurjant making the moves and Simranjeet completing a perfect centre-forward finish.

In the fourth quarter, Germany hit back with a goal through a penalty corner to make it 4-5. But India defended well to finish the match in their favour and ensure a medal for the country in 41 years.

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