Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the Indian women's hockey team for putting up a gritty performance in the semifinal against Argentina at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 on Wednesday. However, it was not enough to secure a maiden Olympic final berth as the team lost 1-2 in a hard-fought match. Now, India fight for the bronze medal against Great Britain in the third-fourth place play-off match on Friday.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi wrote: "One of the things we will remember #Tokyo2020 for is the stupendous performance by our Hockey teams." "Today and through the Games, our Women’s Hockey team played with grit and showcased great skill. Proud of the team. Best of luck for the game ahead and for future endeavours," he added.
Meanwhile, in the semifinal, the Indian women's team fought valiantly and gave Argentina a run for their money by taking the lead in the second minute through a penalty corner conversion by Gurjit Kaur.
But the Las Leonas bounced back strongly with skipper Maria Barrionuevo's (18th, 36th minutes) twin strikes from penalty corners to secure the hard-fought win.
The bunch of 18 fearless and determined Indian women had already done the unthinkable when they stunned three-time champions Australia 1-0 on Monday to enter the Olympic semifinals for the first time.
Coming into the match, the odds were totally against India but the side led by talismanic Rani Rampal and coached by master tactician Sjoerd Marijne exceeded expectations.
India's best performance in the Olympics came way back in the 1980 Moscow Games where they finished fourth out of six teams.
In that edition of the Games, women's hockey made its debut in the Olympics and the sport was played in a round-robin format with top two teams qualifying for the final.
The Netherlands will play Argentina in the final on Friday.
(With PTI inputs)
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