The Indian men’s hockey team made history in the Tokyo Olympics by winning bronze, their first medal in the sport in 41 years. Manpreet Singh’s team won the bronze medal after defeating Germany 5-4 in a thrilling third-place match on Thursday (August 5). The Indians staged a spectacular comeback, coming back from a 1-3 deficit in the second quarter to win 5-4.
On Thursday (August 5), Germany clawed its way back into the bronze medal match in the Tokyo Olympics, as Lukas Windfeder scored the fourth goal for the European team, bringing them to 4-5 against a resurgent Indian side in the fourth quarter. India scored two goals immediately after the start of the third quarter, and Simranjeet Singh added his second of the game to give India a 5-3 lead against Germany in the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics. A minute into the third quarter of India’s bronze medal match versus Germany, Rupinderpal Singh converted from the spot to put his team up 4-3.
After trailing 1-3, the Indians scored four goals in the final six minutes of the game. With just over a minute left in the second quarter, Harmanpreet Singh converted India’s third penalty corner of the bronze medal match against Germany, bringing India level at 3-3.
Harmanpreet Singh’s sixth Olympic goal came in Tokyo. Hardik Singh’s strike in the second portion of the second quarter reduced the deficit to 2-3, keeping India in contention for the bronze medal match against Germany. Germany’s Nicholas Wellen pushed his team back in lead with a goal in the 24th minute, and Benedikt Furt added a third a minute later to put the Europeans up 3-1 in the second quarter.
The eight-time previous gold medalists, who had endured a sad downturn over the last four decades, made their recent return count in the best way imaginable by winning an Olympic medal. Simranjeet Singh (17th, 34th minutes) scored twice for India, while Hardik Singh (27th), Harmanpreet Singh (29th), and Rupinder Pal Singh (31) also scored.
Timur Oruz (2nd), Niklas Wellen (24th), Benedikt Furk (25th), and Lukas Windfeder scored for Germany (48th). Determined to win a medal, the Indians staged one of the most dramatic comebacks in the game’s history, rallying from a two-goal deficit to win the match.
On the field, there were tears and hugs as the Indians, headed by Manpreet Singh and coached by Australian Graham Reid, savoured the historic event. It is India’s third Olympic bronze medal in hockey history. The other two were in Mexico City in 1968 and Munich in 1972.