'Spirit of New India': PM Modi cheers up women's hockey team after Olympics bronze miss
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday encouraged the Indian women's hockey team after the girls lost following a valiant fight in the bronze medal match against Great Britain at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian women's hockey team scored three quick goals to take lead in the match and put the Rio Olympics gold medalists on the backfoot. But Britain bounced back in the fourth quarter and won the match 4-3.
Prime Minister Modi, taking to his official handle on Twitter, said: "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."
"We will always remember the great performance of our women’s hockey team at Tokyo 2020," the Prime Minister continued, "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."
Not just the Prime Minister, eminent personalities from all across India pitched in their words of encouragement for the Indian women's hockey team after the heartbreaking bronze snub.
"Heartbreak!!! But all reasons to hold our heads high," said Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, who played the role of the women's hockey team coach in the film 'Chak De India!' 14 years ago. "Well played Indian women's hockey team," he said, "You all inspired everyone in India. That itself is victory."
Notably, this is India's best-ever showing at the Olympics yet. Before this, India featured only twice in the women's hockey event at the multi-sports programme. While they had finished in the fourth position in 1980 as well, they had not qualified for the tournament and competed in a six-team round-robin format.
The India women's hockey team qualified for the Olympics for the first time in 2016 when they finished 12th out of 20 teams. However, they managed to finish fourth this time, shattering all earlier records and showcasing their rise over the years.