New Delhi : Millions of Indians fell in love with hockey once again and social media went into a frenzy after the national team made its first Olympic semifinal in 49 years.
The Indian team raised hopes of its first Olympic medal since 1980 by beating Great Britain 3-1 in the quarterfinals here on Sunday.
People from all walks of life expressed their elation on social media, including former hockey players, cricketers and politicians.
“Greatest moment for Indian Hockey since the 1980 Gold medal at the Moscow Olympics. I am just so proud of the team. Congrats boys. I have tears of joy in my eyes. Thank you for what you guys are doing at Tokyo Flag of IndiaFlag of IndiaFlag of India,” tweeted former India hockey captain Viren Rasquinha.
India face Belgium in the semifinals on Tuesday.
“To win an Olympic hockey QF, you need hunger, fire, desire and total teamwork. Our men’s hockey team showed all that and then some more today vs GBR. Just so proud of our warriors. Now for Belgium. Recover and get ready for the SF. The whole nation will be watching & cheering,” Rasquinha said.
“There is something about a team sport especially hockey that can truly unite a nation. I can feel the emotion and the love for hockey in Flag of India Everyone wants our hockey team to do well. Keep fighting boys. The tournament is not over. Stay focused,” he added.
India”s only individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and 2012 bronze medallist Gagan Narang congratulated Manpreet Singh-led squad.
“What a great evening ! Super show @TheHockeyIndia! Two more to go,” Bindra wrote, also referring to P V Sindhu”s bronze in badminton.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur tweeted: “India dribbles & dashes it’s way into the Semi-Finals! Brilliant performance by Mens Hockey team.”
“Chak De India. What a great moment for Indian hockey. Beating Great Britain in great fashion. First semi-final after 1972 Olympics. Maza aa gaya. Best wishes for the semis,” wrote former India opener Virender Sehwag.
Wishes also came in from Australia”s High Commissioner to India Barry O”Farrell, who hoped for an India-Australia final.
“Great game @TheHockeyIndia! A well deserved victory. Hopefully, India & Australia win their next matches and we will meet in the final.”
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a tweet: “Well played! Congratulate Indian Men’s #Hockey Team on registering a stunning victory in the quarter-final against Great Britain at #Tokyo2020.