The Men’s Hockey Team won a Bronze medal in the present Tokyo Olympics. They overcame mighty Germany with 5-4. This sparked celebrations across Odisha and India too.

“I would like to congratulate Team India for the bronze medal in Tokyo Olympics. With master player Dhanraj Pillay, Mukesh Kumar, we had also played big matches but failed to bag a bronze in Olympic what the young brigade of the Indian team did today,” Dilip said.

Dilip Tirkey, a former Team India captain and Olympian from Odisha. He said in his immediate reaction that the Indian squad performed better today. What several other generations of players had failed to do since India won the gold medal in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

“The team proved that it can beat any powerhouses in the world. The expectation of every Indian has been fulfilled today. The thumping performance of the Indian team will definitely inspire the budding talents in the country to grab the hockey sticks,” he reacted.

Lazarus Barla, another former Olympian said “It was an outstanding game today. The 5:4 score in a big performance. In the competition for Bronze, the score usually stands at 1.0 or 2.0 but the scoreline proves how enthralling the match was for all of us. If we watch this game repeatedly, we would definitely learn many things. The emerging talents can rectify their mistakes if they watch such competition. I really enjoyed the match today.”

“I expect a similar performance from the women’s team at their next tournament. I also wish them success at the Olympics,” Barla said, praising players like Dip Grace Ekka, who is the deputy captain of the women’s hockey team.

“My happiness doubled today as Odisha Government is the official sponsor of the Indian hockey team,” he said.

Talking to a local news daily, Barla expressed his delight at being a former hockey player. He said that, after Puri Dham, Sundergarh has become another global name for Odisha, since two players from the western district, who are members of the squad, threw on a spectacular performance today.

Amit Rohidas’ performance in today’s match was outstanding, according to Barla. He said he had guided and offered some tips on ‘defence tackling’ with the team. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated the team India for the remarkable performance.

CM Naveen Patnaik also spoke to the Team India players through a video call. He shared the video on his Twitter account.

In a corner play-off match of the current Games on Thursday, a resolute Indian men’s hockey team grabbed the Olympic bronze medal. For the first time in 41 years, defeating a plucky Germany 5-4 to take the bronze.

India, an eight-time previous gold medalist, has fought a tragic slump in the sport over the last four decades, only to make a gradual return in the last couple of years.

Their bronze was India’s fifth medal at the present Games, and it was worth its weight in gold for the sheer emotion and nostalgia that hockey inspires in the country.