Advertisement
Monday, Nov 29, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

India Hockey Captain Manpreet Singh Dedicates Tokyo Olympics Medal To COVID Warriors, Says They Never Gave Up

The 29-year-old from Jalandhar was 'speechless' following the epoch-making 5-4 victory over Germany that gave India their 12th hockey medal in the Olympics but one that came after over four decades

India Hockey Captain Manpreet Singh Dedicates Tokyo Olympics Medal To COVID Warriors, Says They Never Gave Up
Captain Manpreet Singh reacts after India defeated Germany 5-4 during the men's field hockey bronze medal match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. | AP Photo/John Locher
India Hockey Captain Manpreet Singh Dedicates Tokyo Olympics Medal To COVID Warriors, Says They Never Gave Up
outlookindia.com
2021-08-05T11:00:14+05:30

Overwhelmed by emotion after leading India to its first Olympic hockey medal in 41 years, skipper Manpreet Singh on Thursday dedicated the historic triumph to the country's doctors and health-care workers, who have worked tirelessly to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights | Tokyo Olympics | Full Schedule | Sports News

The 29-year-old from Jalandhar was "speechless" following the epoch-making 5-4 victory over Germany that gave India their 12th hockey medal in the Olympics but one that came after over four decades.

The last time India stood on the podium was at the 1980 Moscow Games where they won gold. The country has eight gold medals in all the Games.

READ: Naveen Patnaik, The School Goalkeeper Defending Indian Hockey Like No One Else

"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. 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," Manpreet recalled.

"We would like to dedicate this medal to doctors and frontline health workers who have saved so many lives in India," he said.

A relentless Germany tested every bit of the resolve that the Indian hockey team had and Manpreet acknowledged the grit of the opposition.

ALSO READ: Real 'Chak De' Moment

"It was difficult, they got a penalty corner in the last six seconds. We thought we have got to save it with our lives. It is really hard. I am speechless right now," said the skipper, who seemed overcome by emotion.

"We had a long gap when we didn't get a medal. Now we will get more confidence, yes we can do it. If we can finish on podium in Olympics, we can finish on podium anywhere," he added.

India had endured a 2-5 loss to Belgium in the semifinals, which put paid to their hopes of a gold at the Games. Manpreet said coach Graham Reid shook the players out of the disappointment by telling them to stay focussed on the play-off game.

"...we didn't give up. We kept fighting back. It's a great feeling, best feeling. We came here for the gold, we won bronze, it is still a great thing. It's a great moment for all hockey fans," he said.

"It's just a start here, it hasn't finished (with this bronze)," he added.

Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh, who was one among the five scorers on the day, could not hold back tears while talking to the media and said it is just the start of great things in Indian hockey.

"People were forgetting hockey in India. They loved hockey, but they stopped hoping that we can win. But we won today. They can expect more from us in the future. Keep believing in us," he said.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

1st Test, Live: India Continue To Push For Win, Need 3 Wickets

1st Test, Live: India Continue To Push For Win, Need 3 Wickets

India are closing in on another famous victory at Green Park, Kanpur. This time against World Test champions New Zealand. Follow live coverage of India vs New Zealand first Test.

Omicron In India: Five Steps To Stop Outbreak Of New Covid-19 Variant

Omicron In India: Five Steps To Stop Outbreak Of New Covid-19 Variant

Cases of Omicron, the latest variant of Covid-19, have not yet been reported in India.

Omicron Shows Why Countries Need To Start Sharing Their Vaccines

Omicron Shows Why Countries Need To Start Sharing Their Vaccines

'Despite the repeated warnings of health leaders, our failure to put vaccines into the arms of people in the developing world is now coming back to haunt us', wrote former British PM Gordon Brown.

Omicron In India: How New Covid-19 Variant Is Impacting Travel Across States

Omicron In India: How New Covid-19 Variant Is Impacting Travel Across States

India has issued fresh travel restrictions for international travellers coming from 'at risk' nations in the wake of the Omicron outbreak across several countries in the world.

Advertisement