Tribal-dominated Simdega, home to hockey legends like Sylvanus Dung Dung and Michael Kindo and member of the current women's hockey team Salima Tete, reverberated with sounds of drum beats while the atmosphere remained soaked in festivity Thursday after India scripted history by winning a bronze medal in Men's Hockey at Tokyo Olympics.
Located about 50 km from the capital Ranchi, Simdega is also known as the 'Cradle of Hockey' in the state.
It has given top-notch sportsman at Olympics representing the county - Sylvanus Dung Dung a former Olympian who won Gold at 1980 Moscow Olympics in Hockey and Michael Kindo - another Olympian winning Bronze at 1972 summer Olympics.
Hockey players in the district and people associated with the game danced to the tune of drums with full enthusiasm over the splendid achievement of the men's team. Sulakshana Tete, father of Salima Tete, and others expressed optimism that Friday would also be the day of joy when the women's hockey team will play for the bronze medal.
President, Simdega, Hockey Association, Manoj Konbegi told PTI that the Indian team's historic performance will boost the morale of hockey players in smaller places like Simdega where the traditional game evokes interest among youths.
"There is no dearth of players and what is required to hone their skills and I am too happy that this is the beginning of the return of golden days of Indian Hockey," Konbegi said.
Sulakshana Tete, father of Salima Tete, daughter of Simdega, a member of the Indian Women's hockey said: "It is a big achievement. I am confident women's team will also return to the country with similar performance with a medal."
Chief Minister Hemant Soren said: "Congratulations to the Hockey India Men's team for such a spirited and valiant performance to secure bronze in Tokyo 2020. We will continue to remember your stellar performance and may you bring more laurels to the country."
Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais in a tweet said: "Many congratulations and best wishes to the Hockey India Men's team for earning a bronze medal for the country. After a long gap, you have created enthusiasm everywhere by winning a medal in Olympics. Well done!"
Two of the players in the Indian Women's Hockey team hail from Jharkhand. Salima Tete (19) who hails from Badkichapar village in Simdega and Nikki Pradhan (27) from Hesal village in Khunti is a part of the dream women's hockey team that made history in Tokyo.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Soren has announced making the Jharkhand Olympic players as state's icons and had present Rs five lakh each to the family members Nikki Pradhan and Salima Tete for selection to play in Tokyo Olympics.
In a rare show of empathy, the authorities had got a smart TV installed at the residence of Olympian Salima Tete after the government came to know that the woman hockey player's family does not possess one and are unable to see their daughter's performance at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
India on Thursday scripted history by winning an Olympic medal, a bronze, which is worth its weight in gold for the sheer emotion and nostalgia attached with hockey in the country, by beating Germany 5-4 in the third-place play-off match here.
India's 12th hockey medal in the Olympics came after over four decades. The last time India stood on the podium was at the 1980 Moscow Games where they won gold.
The country has eight gold medals in all the Olympic Games.