TOKYO: In what is truly India's "Chak De moment" (hat tip to Shahrukh Khan's celebrated Hindi movie hit), both the men's and women's hockey teams have entered the semi-finals at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
A brave and determined Indian women's hockey team etched its name in the history books, reaching their first-ever Olympic semi-final on Monday.
The Indian team played their hearts out and fought toe-to-toe, stunning three-time champions and world no.2 Australia 1-0 in an intense last-eight tie on Monday at the Oi Hockey Stadium here.
In what comes as a historic day and possibly the greatest moment for women's hockey in India yet (the script is still being written), Gurjit Kaur scored the lone goal in the match during the first half through a penalty corner in a very tightly contested match.
The upset victory by the world no. 9 women's side comes a day after the Indian men's team entered the Olympic semifinals after a 49-year gap, living up to their billing with a scintillating 3-1 win against Great Britain.
India inched closer to end their 41-year medal drought as they booked the semi-final berth through goals from Dilpreet Singh (7'), Gurjant Singh (16') Hardik Singh (57').
The overall effort ensured India a place in the semi-final against world champions Belgium, who beat Spain 3-1 to make the final four, on Tuesday at 0700 hrs IST.
Even as the dream run for both teams continues, Indian women's hockey team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne summed it up perfectly in his post match comments, saying: "This match also proves dreams can come true. If you start believing and you keep believing and you keep working hard, things can happen. You have to do the work to fulfill your dreams and that's what we did today."
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