Tokyo Olympics 2020: 'Won a billion hearts', Twitterati praise Indian women's hockey team's efforts in fourth place finish

·6 min read

Some of India's best athletes finished fourth at the Olympics and missed out on a medal. Milkha Singh, PT Usha and Dipa Karmakar. The women's hockey team added themselves to this list by finishing fourth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A fourth place finish has no medal at the Games but it is indeed a momentous achievement for a team which finished last at Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.

Not to forget their initial form at Tokyo 2020. The Sjoerd Marijne-coached team lost their opening three matches and were all set for an early exit but they turned it around.

Two must-win games against Ireland and South Africa and the team defeated them to make it to the quarter-final. Then they faced one of the medal favourites Australia and Gurjit Kaur's only goal of the match sealed the win.

The team then pushed hard against Argentina but missed out on a spot in the final after narrowly losing 1-2. The similar gritty performance was also seen in the bronze medal match and after two quarters they were leading 3-2 but then Great Britain scored twice to clinch the medal.

A day prior, the men's team made history by winning the bronze after 41 years. The Rani Rampal-led side might not have a medal to show for their run but their feat is nothing short of historic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the team can take pride from a campaign, in which it beat Australia 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

"We will always remember the great performance of our Women's Hockey Team at #Tokyo2020. They gave their best throughout. Each and every member of the team is blessed with remarkable courage, skill and resilience. India is proud of this outstanding team.

"We narrowly missed a medal in Women's Hockey but this team reflects the spirit of New India- where we give our best and scale new frontiers. More importantly, their success at #Tokyo2020 will motivate young daughters of India to take up Hockey and excel in it. Proud of this team," Modi tweeted.

Men's team skipper Manpreet Singh and former hockey player Viren Rasquinha said the women's side's journey at the Olympics was one of the best stories of the ongoing Games. They were there to cheer the team from the stands during the match.

"The performance of the Indian women's hockey team has been one of the best stories of the Tokyo Olympics They played as a team and gave it their all. Cannot ask for any more. Thank you for giving us fans so many wonderful memories," Rasquinha said.

"This being our @TheHockeyIndia eves highest finish at the Olympics - tough luck but they fought superbly till the end! They have won the nations heart and we are proud of them," Manpreet tweeted.

Former cricketers Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman said the spirit with which the team performed will serve as an inspiration for the next generation.

"Brilliant Effort girls. You must hold your heads up high for the magnificent effort and the spirit with which you fought. You have been instrumental in making the nation ho crazy for Hockey again @TheHockeyIndia #IndvsGBR," Sehwag said.

"You gave it your all. Proud of how you played. Won a billion hearts. Created history and inspired the next gen," Kumble said.

"Nothing but respect for our girls who gave their best. We are very proud of you and I am sure they will only get better," Laxman tweeted.

Also See: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Rani Rampal and Co can't afford another slip up against Great Britain

Tokyo Olympics 2020: PM Narendra Modi lauds Indian women's hockey team| Watch

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