'Bigger than the World Cup': India goes bonkers over Olympics feat

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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The Indian hockey team celebrate after winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian hockey team won a medal at the Olympics for the first time in 41 years. (Getty Images)

India has erupted after the men's Olympic hockey team delivered the first medal in the sport in more than 41 years.

The Games witnessed a thrilling playoff as India won the bronze medal after coming from behind to defeat Germany 5-4 on Thursday.

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India forward Simranjeet Singh stood out from the other players by scoring two goals for India, including the winning goal of the match.

Singh summed up the feeling around the nation when he put the bronze medal in perspective.

"It's a dream come true," Simranjeet said. 

"We've made 1.3 billion Indians proud by finishing on the podium."

Social media was ablaze with praise for the Indian hockey team. 

Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir claimed the medal was more important that winning the cricket world cup.

India come from behind to create history

The goal-rich match was not an easy one for the eight-time Olympic champions. 

Germany took an early lead through a second-minute goal by Timur Oruz, and posed a threat to India in the first quarter.

After Simranjeet equalised with a backhand shot for India, Germany kept their cool, scoring two goals to take a 3-1 lead in the second quarter.

But India pulled level late in that quarter thanks to goals by Hardik Singh and Harmanpreet Singh, making it 3-3 at the halftime break.

"We're very angry at ourselves that we got India back into the game," Germany's head coach Kais al Saadi said.

"They're a great team. You can't give away opportunities like that to a fantastic team like that."

India then took a 5-3 lead after Rupinder Pal Singh notched in a penalty stroke and Simranjeet scored the winning goal of the match not long into the second half.

Germany came back a goal and tried to force the equaliser, even taking out its goalkeeper to bring in an extra field player late in the game.

But the Germans could not get another ball past India goalie Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran, who was a star of the match with nine saves.

with Reuters

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