The Indian women’s hockey team made history on Monday as they stormed into the semifinals of the Olympic Games hockey tournament for the first time.
India defeated world No. 2 Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals for their maiden entry into the medal rounds of the Olympic Games hockey tournament.
A day after the Indian men’s team entered the Olympic semifinals following a 49-year gap, the world no. 9 women’s side also produced a phenomenally gritty performance to make it way into the last four.
Emotions running high !
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Dragflicker Gurjit Kaur scored the only goal of the match in the 22nd minute and after the historic win, a beaming Gurjit told the Olympic channel that the win is a result of all the hard work and effort the players put in as a team in the national camps.
“I am very happy. We have worked hard in the camps, today we got the result.
We did this back in 1980 and now we have qualified for the semi-final,” she said.
“All the years of hard work, in the camps, We worked together as a team and now we have reached the semis after 1980,” she added.
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 the top two teams qualifying for the final.
“Our team is like a family, the players, the coaching team,” Gurjit said.
India secured their first and only penalty corner in the 22nd minute of the encounter and Gurjit, who had a disappointing outing so far in the tournament, rose to the occasion and converted the chance with a low flick to stun the Australians.
Gurjit thanked her countrymen and women for keeping them in their prayers and supporting them over the difficult years.
“Everyone back home is happy. Want to thank Indians for their support. Their prayers and well-wishes are with us,” she added.
This is India’s biggest win in women’s hockey as the team is playing in the Olympics only for the third time and had struggled to the knockout rounds, finishing fourth in Pool A.
The Rani Rampal-led side will play Argentina in the semifinal on Wednesday.
(With inputs from Agencies)