Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Olympics Hockey: India end four-decade wait for medal after brilliant bronze

The 11-a-side game was handed a huge boost for its survival as an Olympic sport after its biggest audience – India – won a first medal after a 41-year hiatus following a thrilling 5-4 win over Germany at the Tokyo Oympics.

It had to be India’s own ‘Wall’ who saved the day. With six seconds remaining and Germany bearing down on goal with one final penalty corner chance, PR Sreejesh’s left glove saw India to bronze.

They had to do so from 3-1 down as Germany finished off the podium for the first time since Sydney 2000.

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  1. Hockey 11’s is saved for a generation at least. Nobody is taking it out of the Olympics, India will not allow it. The Prime minister of India watched the bronze medal play off victory. How many sports can boast that, even for a gold medal match. India will use it’s population and financial heft to insure that hockey never gets ejected from the Olympics.

    Not only that, the Indian win will be a catalyst for hockey in South Asia. Pakistan will get a resurgence too because they always want to match India in sporting prowess.

    A glorious future awaits hockey. Hockey 11’s will be always be there in Olympics. Hockey 5s will help grow the sport in colleges and schools, especially in poorer countries. I can envisage hockey 5s leagues like t20 cricket and eventually entry into Olympics.

    However, this will be in addition to hockey 11s, not a replacement. Just like basketball 3s, rugby 7s and beach volleyball.

    Bet on hockey to become a billion dollar sport in a few years.


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