- Women’s team enters semifinals for the first time in history
- Gurjit Kaur scores the lone goal in Olympics
- Naveen Patnaik receives congratulatory messages
Tokyo: Indian women hockey team has created history on Monday morning by beating the world no. 2 Australia by a solitary goal. It was scripting history because the women team had never entered Olympic semifinal so far. The best performance by the women’s team, just as men’s team, was in Moscow Olympics in 1980 when the men won their last gold and the women were placed in the fourth position among the six teams. Since then both men and women were not faring well. Both the teams were place in the 9th slot in world ranking. They never entered semifinals. Only in this Olympics the men team did wonderfully well by beating Great Britain on Sunday evening, after Sindhu won the bronze in badminton, and entered semifinal.
This Olympics did a lot of good for Indian hockey. Both men and women had entered semifinals, a rare sight. Indian men had to wait for 49 years while the women did it for the first time in history. Indian women team, which was placed in the 9th position, beating the Australian team, the no.2 in the world, was a miracle. It was an upset win for Indian women team. So was the case with the men team. Nobody expected the women and men teams to do so well.
Naveen Patnaik receives encomiums
While the men and women hockey players representing India were doing a marvelous job in Tokyo, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, 74, has been receiving a flood of congratulatory messages. The reason is that it was Patnaik who has been supporting the Indian hockey teams since 2018. His government had spent Rs. 150 crore so far on Indian hockey. It is customary to organize national hockey competitions in Bhuvaneswar with Odisha footing the bill. While the whole country was after Indian cricket, Naveen Patnaik was all alone in supporting his favorite spot which he played when he was studying at Dehra Doon School. He was a goalkeeper at school level.
Patnaik tweeted, “It is a matter of pride for the whole country that the women’s hockey team has reached the semi-finals of the Olympics for the first time. We, the people of Odisha, are proud of the fact that Odisha has been supporting both national teams since 2014.” The name of the State, Odisha, is there on the jerseys worn by the players.