“The last 15 months was so difficult for us also, because we were in Bangalore, we spent too much time there away from the family,” said the Indian men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh after the — the most successful in the history of the Olympics with eight gold medals — claimed the bronze medal with a 5-4 victory over Germany at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo on Thursday.
“We would like to dedicate this medal to doctors who have saved so many people’s lives there in India and everywhere in this world. So, we’d like to dedicate this medal to those warriors.”
The team — the most successful in the history of the Olympics with eight gold medals — claimed the bronze medal with a 5-4 victory over Germany at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo on Thursday.
The Indian men’s hockey team hadn’t medalled since Moscow 1980, when they won the last of their golds.
India lost only two matches in Tokyo against Australia and Belgium, and the two face each other in the final.
Team India has won four medals at Tokyo 2020 overall and is aiming to surpass its best Olympic haul of six medals at London 2012.
Goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh called the bronze medal “a rebirth.”
Despite being the world’s second-most populous country, a lack of funding and proper infrastructure have prevented India from becoming an Olympic powerhouse.
At the same time, many athletes choose to play cricket, a non-Olympic sport that enjoys much bigger fanfare in the subcontinent.
However, the number of Indian Olympians has, in recent years, risen steadily as the government invests more in sports and athletics.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to congratulate the team on their win.