The long wait, which often seemed interminable and always full of despair, is over. It’s a memorable moment for India as in this year’s Tokyo Olympics 2020 the Indian men and women hockey team battled past their opponents to enter the semi-finals.
On one hand, where the Indian men hockey team who defeated Great Britain qualified for the first time after 49 years, the women hockey team scripted history by defeating 3 times champions Australia by a solitary goal at the quadrennial Games. The Rani Rampal-led side defended well with excellent turnovers and kept the pressure on the Aussies during the entire 60 minutes of play.
Meanwhile, first-half goals from men like Dilpreet Singh and Gurjant Singh followed by a late strike from Hardik Singh took India to yet another impressive win. The Indian men hockey team last reached the semi-finals in the 1972 Munich Olympics, when they ended up with a bronze medal.
However, India did win a gold medal in the 1980s Moscow Olympics but there were no semi-final ties as many countries opted to boycott the Games in the aftermath of the Soviet–Afghanistan war. Amid the cheer of qualifying in the next lap, various dignitaries and fans expressed their happiness on Twitter.
The Indian men will now take on world champions and Rio Games runners-up Belgium in the semi-finals on August 3. Whereas, the Rani Rampal-led side will play against Argentina in the semifinal on August 4.