Prime Minister Narendra Modi said August 5, 2021, will remain one of the most memorable days for every hockey lover and sports enthusiast after the Indian men’s hockey team ended its 41-year medal drought at the Olympic Games on Thursday.
In a series of tweets, PM Modi hailed every player of the hockey team after the side won the bronze medal in the mega sporting event.
The Indian men’s hockey team played with their heart and soul to bring joy to the country on Thursday as they scripted history with a fantastic 5-4 win against Germany in the Bronze medal play-off match on day thirteen of the Tokyo Olympics.
“Hockey has a special place in the hearts and minds of every Indian. For every hockey lover and sports enthusiast, 5th August 2021 will remain one of the most memorable days,” PM Modi tweeted.
In the match against Germany, goalkeeper PR Sreejesh came up with some outstanding saves in the dying seconds of the crucial match.
Prime Minister lauded Sreejesh for a “spectacular performance” and said his saves played a big part in earning the medal.
“Spectacular performance throughout the tournament and even in the last few seconds. Bravo @16Sreejesh! Your saves played a big part in earning the medal for India. Congratulations and best wishes to you,” Modi said in a tweet.
He hailed hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh for his leadership qualities.
“His 3rd Olympics and a medal he waited years for…Throughout the Games, he led from the front, including during critical moments of the matches. India is proud of the leadership of @manpreetpawar07. A delighted nation thanks him for being the pivot of the team,” PM Modi said.
During the match, it was Simranjeet Singh (17′, 34′), Hardik Singh (27′), Harmanpreet Singh (29′), Rupinder Pal Singh (31′) who scored for India.
PM Modi said Harmanpreet brought Indian hockey to the centre of everyone’s attention with the “crucial goal”.
“We enjoyed your power-packed game @13harmanpreet! With those crucial goals that you scored, you’ve really brought Indian hockey to the centre of everyone’s attention. Impressive performance! Proud of you,” said Modi.
Hailing Rupinder Pal Singh, PM Modi said his world-class penalty corner specialist skills helped the side bringing home a “precious medal”.
He applauded the efforts of Hardik Singh and said he has distinguished himself as a bright hockey player.
“Passionate about sports and fitness…that’s Hardik Singh for you. He has put in the immense effort and distinguished himself as a bright Hockey player. Thank you Hardik, for all your hard work and especially for a critical goal in a crucial match!”
PM Modi said Birendra Lakra’s defence is “unbreachable” and at every step, he demonstrated his experience in the game and helped the team win.
“Birendra Lakra’s defence is unbreachable. His game is a delight to watch! At every step he demonstrated his experience in the game and helped the team win. We are proud of him!” he said.
PM Modi said Gurjant Singh’s “exceptional skills on the field” inspire youth to excel in sports.
“Striker Gurjant Singh’s exceptional skills on the field and determination inspire every youth to excel in sports. His contribution to the team and Indian Hockey is indelible. Best wishes to him for his future endeavors,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister also spoke to Manpreet and coach Graham Reid and said the hard work put in by them over the months had finally paid off.