Millions of Indians fell in love with hockey once again and social media went into a frenzy after the national team made its first semifinal at the Tokyo Olympics in 49 years. The Indian team drastically raised hopes of its first Olympic medal since 1980 by beating Britain 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 captain Viren Rasquinha. India faces Belgium in the semifinals. 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.
"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 the Flag of India Everyone wants our hockey team to do well. Keep fighting boys. The tournament is not over. Stay focused," Rasquinha added.
India's only individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and 2012 bronze medallist Gagan Narang congratulated the 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.
"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." Sports Minister Anurag Thakur wrote: "India dribbles & dashes its way into the Semi-Finals! Brilliant performance by Men's Hockey team."
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote: "Well played! Congratulate Indian Men's #Hockey Team on registering a stunning victory in the quarter-final against Great Britain at #Tokyo2020. "May the team continue its momentum & bring a much-awaited medal for the country. Wish the team all the best."