After a gap of 41 years, during which time India went to the edge of an Olympic semifinal qualification a few times, the men’s team not only entered the semis in Tokyo, but also clinched a bronze medal at the Games.
The team led by Manpreet Singh and coached by Australian Graham Reid came back from 1-3 down to beat Germany 5-4 in a thrilling finish on Thursday.
The moment broke boundaries and former Pakistan captain Waseem Ahmed stepped up to congratulate India.
INDIA’S RESULTS IN HOCKEY SINCE 1928 OLYMPICS
“It’s a huge achievement,” said Ahmed, talking to TimesofIndia.com from Melbourne, where he has been settled since 2015.
“Congratulations to the team and the country. It’s huge that the Indian team has made a comeback to the Olympics (podium). It’s their hard work and dedication that they could win a medal. It’s not a small thing, doing it after a gap of 41 years,” he added.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: India win bronze after dramatic victory over Germany
<p>India won the bronze medal in hockey after a thrilling 5-4 victory over Germany at the Tokyo Games on Thursday, giving the country its first Olympic medal in the sport in more than forty years. (PTI Photo)</p>
Ahmed, the player with the most international caps (410) for Pakistan, hoped in earnest that hockey in India reclaims the cherished status it once enjoyed as eight-time Olympic gold medallists.
“I hope the players and the game gets appreciated in the same way as all other sports, and I hope hockey returns to the status that it once enjoyed.
“It’s a proud moment for Indian hockey and Asian hockey,” he concluded.