Monday, Sep 25, 2023

India Women's Hockey Team Earns Praise For Fighting Tokyo Olympics Show

India Women's Hockey Team Earns Praise For Fighting Tokyo Olympics Show

The history-making Indian women's hockey team signed off with a fourth place finish after going down to Great Britain 3-4 in the bronze medal play-off

Savita, left, and Nikki Pradhan are comforted by assistant coach Johnna Dorothea Maria Schopman after India lost 4-3 to Britain during the women's field hockey bronze medal match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. AP Photo/John Locher

The bronze medal slipped out of its grasp but the Indian women's hockey team earned plaudits for its gritty display against Great Britain in the play-off match as the country celebrated the side's best-ever performance at the Olympics.


The history-making Indian women's hockey team, which had already surpassed all expectations by entering the semifinals of the Games for the first time, signed off with a fourth place finish after going down to Great Britain 3-4 in the bronze medal play-off.

President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated the team for its stellar performance.

"Indian Women's Hockey team excelled on the field and won the hearts of every Indian with their stellar performance. We are proud of you all," Kovind wrote.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the team can take pride from a campaign, in which it stunned three-time champions Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals.

"We will always remember the great performance of our Women’s Hockey Team at #Tokyo2020. They gave their best throughout. Each and every member of the team is blessed with remarkable courage, skill and resilience. India is proud of this outstanding team.

"We narrowly missed a medal in Women's Hockey but this team reflects the spirit of New India- where we give our best and scale new frontiers. More importantly, their success at #Tokyo2020 will motivate young daughters of India to take up Hockey and excel in it. Proud of this team," Modi tweeted.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said he is proud of their effort.

"India's daughters - our determined athletes; we are immensely proud of you!" he wrote.

"A giant leap of faith & fighting spirit by our women's hockey team; a legacy that will inspire us to do even better! You have shown us the way," he said.

Former sports minister Kiren Rijiju said hockey's golden era is back.

"Don't break down girls, you all played superb at Tokyo2020 by reaching top 4 in the world! I appreciate our Women's Hockey for making India proud.!!" he posted.

Men's team skipper Manpreet Singh and former hockey player Viren Rasquinha said the women's side's journey at the Olympics was one of the best stories of the ongoing Games. Manpreet and his teammates were there to cheer the team from the stands during the match.

"The performance of the Indian women's hockey team has been one of the best stories of the Tokyo Olympics They played as a team and gave it their all. Cannot ask for any more. Thank you for giving us fans so many wonderful memories," Rasquinha said.

"This being our #TheHockeyIndia eves highest finish at the Olympics - tough luck but they fought superbly till the end! They have won the nations heart and we are proud of them," Manpreet tweeted.

Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar said "Well done TeamIndia on giving your best and fighting till the very end. You may have lost the match but you have won our hearts. We are all very proud of you."

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, whose government has supported both the hockey teams, also congratulated the side.

"Congratulate Indian Women's Hockey Team for putting up a brave fight against Great Britain at #Tokyo2020. Keep your fighting spirit up and keep inspiring. Wish you all the very best for future."

The Rani Rampal-led team also earned the respect of its opponents as the official account of Great Britain Hockey tweeted "What an amazing game, what an amazing opponent @TheHockeyIndia you've done something special at #Tokyo2020 - the next few years look very bright."

Former cricketers Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumle and VVS Laxman said the spirit with which the team performed will serve as an inspiration for the next generation.

"Brilliant Effort girls. You must hold your heads up high for the magnificent effort and the spirit with which you fought. You have been instrumental in making the nation ho crazy for Hockey again @TheHockeyIndia #IndvsGBR," Sehwag said.

"You gave it your all. Proud of how you played. Won a billion hearts. Created history and inspired the next gen," Kumble said.

"Nothing but respect for our girls who gave their best. We are very proud of you and I am sure they will only get better," Laxman tweeted.

Shooter Heena Sidhu, shuttler Jwala Gutta and gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who had finished fourth in the Rio Olympics, too paid rich tributes to the side.

"GB played better than us no doubt. We have lost to a better team there's no shame in that. We celebrated the medal yesterday, we must stand with them during this loss as well. They give it their all. Proud of #Ourgirls," Sidhu wrote.

"Played like tigresses…..chin up girls….you were outstanding…there’s more to come!!! @TheHockeyIndia @Tokyo2020hi #womenhockeyindia," Gutta wrote.

"Just so emotional. Each and every member of this team must be celebrated for the fight they have put up. #womenshockey #Hockey #Tokyo2020," Karmakar said.

Indian Olympic Assoaciation Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said "The Indian Women's @TheHockeyIndia team gave it their all and delivered a brilliant performance at #Tokyo2020. The country is absolute proud of your fightback spirit today against Great Britain! More power to you #StrongerTogether #TeamIndia."

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, who famously played the coach of the women's hockey team in Chak De India, also chimed in.

"Heartbreak!!! But all reasons to hold our heads high. Well played Indian Women's Hockey Team. You all inspired everyone in India. That itself is a victory," Khan tweeted.

Saluting the team's passion, two-time Paralympic gold medallist javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia said "You have strengthened the roots of hockey, your passion will teach the coming generations that standing back up after losing is what sports is all about. I salute your passion." 


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