Bajrang Punia invested his tactical acumen and strength in the second period to pin Iran’s Morteza Cheka Ghiasi for the semifinals in the men’s free-style 65kg event; it took him closer to an Olympic medal on debut.
Although women’s hockey team could not reach the Bronze zone, India’s women’s hockey team made history in a match by qualifying for the Olympic semi-finals for the very first time with an extraordinary victory over Australia!
India won against Australia, they were looking forward to bag their first medal since securing a podium finish in Sydney in 2000, 1-0 in the quarter-finals.
Here cricket often overshadows other sports, this big event is being seen as remarkable in a country Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag who called it “an absolute wow moment”, adding that he was “filled with pride”.
Australia had relinquished only 1 goal in the tournament, India held on and didn’t allow Australia to dominate. Throughout the game, India showed a great frusion of aggression and strategy. They seemed in command and thwarted Australia skilfully, especially in the last quarter when Emily Chalker’s team was looking for an equalizer.
The former captain of the Indian men’s hockey team, Viren Rasquinha said “might be the biggest upset in history at this stage of the tournament”. “So proud of our ladies,” he tweeted. It indeed has been a glorious week for the country’s hockey players.
It is the first time that both the men’s and women’s hockey teams have made it to the semifinals of the same Olympics. Great Britain missed out on a place in the men’s Olympic hockey semi-finals. They lost 3-1 to India on Sunday. India is the most successful team in Olympic hockey history, but the last of their eight gold medals came back in 1980.