SPORT GIVETH! SPORT TAKETH AWAY. This could well be the tipping point that Indian hockey has long awaited that takes India's notionally national game to the next level!
The Indian men's hockey team played with all their heart to bring the entire nation joy on a memorable Thursday as they scripted history with a fantastic 5-4 win against a fighting Germany in the Bronze medal play-off match at Tokyo's Oi Hockey Stadium.
The victory ended the country's 41-year medal drought at the Olympic Games and has scripted India's resurgence in global hockey. It was Simranjeet Singh (17', 34'), Hardik Singh (27'), Harmanpreet Singh (29'), Rupinder Pal Singh (31') who scored while PR Sreejesh came up with some outstanding saves in the dying seconds of a historic win at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Victory has many fathers, but when it comes to government support the largest share of accolades will perforce have to go to the Odisha state government. Hockey India's main sponsor has not just been the financial bulwark for Indian hockey in the recent past but has also been its infrastructural support centre.
A hat tip also to the Sports Authority of India and of course the game's national governing body Hockey India.
"Rome was not built in a day!" This adage more than applies to all that has gone into creating the conditions for the steady rise Indian hockey is and has been witnessing over the last decade.
The icing on the cake of course would be if the women's team is able to emulate their male counterparts in Friday's Bronze medal play-off against the Rio Olympics Gold medal winning side England. But even if they fall short of that goal, there can be no taking away from the fact that this women's team has already delivered much above their current standing in world hockey.
So onwards and upwards, Indian hockey! This is but the start of a whole new chapter for India's national game!