'Look forward to more medals in next Olympics'

Mir Ranjan Negi, former goalkeeper of India hockey team and inspiration for Chak De India, speaks to this correspondent

Tina KhatriUpdated: Friday, August 06, 2021, 02:05 AM IST
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Celebrating India's win | FP photo

A historical day when, after 41 years, India won bronze in men's hockey after beating Germany 5-4. It is, indeed, time to be euphoric. If we do it right, the next Olympics could bring in more medals. And, if we don't, it could be another 41 years before we saw another. Negi said, "No one could sleep on Wednesday night. It was a big day for India and it panned out better than we imagined." Negi recounted the day as follows:

From zero chance to teary-eyed win: As the game started, Germany started with high intensity. Their power clearly showed the Indian team they did not stand a chance.

Germany got an early lead with Timur Oruz scoring within two minutes of the match. Germany troubled Indian defence in the first quarter. But India came back with the will to win at any cost. In the second quarter, India saw Simranjeet Singh scoring from a well-executed tomahawk shot, but defensive errors led to Germany scoring two more goals within two minutes.

Just when it looked India might be in trouble, two penalty corners for India yielded results as Hardik Singh scored on the rebound from the first one, while Harmanpreet Singh scored another with a superb dragflick on to the back of the nets.

The last few minutes…: The entire country had goosebumps and tears in their eyes looking at India's comeback. PR Sreejesh saved the last goal and had everyone break out in tears of happiness. "Hockey is in our veins. We held this close to our hearts for many years. We should celebrate it," Negi rounds off.

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