Rani Rampal and co. stun the hockey world one more time - make it to an Olympic Semi final
A brief overview of the significance of the Indian women's hockey team's Semi final entry in Tokyo Olympics
Rani and co. defeated the Australians by virtue of a lone PC goal scored by Gurjit Kaur in the 22nd minute. The Indians who finished last in Rio 2016 have delighted their fans with a magnificent show in Tokyo after having lost three group games on the trot.
It was never going to be easy for Sjoerd Marijne's team after having been pitted against the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, and Ireland in Group A but as the coach often said in the lead up to the tournament, anything was possible if the girls made it to the quarterfinals.
A team that often lost by huge margins to sides like Australia and Germany up until 2017 are now taking the hockey world by storm.
A place in the World Cup quarterfinal was just the beginning and Rani and co. who have now displayed their class on the biggest stage of all. Credit is due to coach Sjoerd Marijne and Scientific Advisor, Wayne Lombard for having transformed a skilful team into a fit, strong and fearless squad who now have the confidence to cross swords with pretty much any side in the world.
It was baptism by fire for the Indians against the Netherlands in their opener and yet, the shoulders never drooped even as the team took on the many fancied sides they were drawn with.
Exhibiting a level of composure that even the best teams would envy, the Indian Eves frustrated the Hockeyroos as they searched in vain for an elusive equalizer.
A team that did not play the Hockey Pro League - the league of the elites that served as a preparatory for the Tokyo Olympics and missed out on vital match practice on account of the pandemic, have now made it to within striking distance of an Olympic medal.
As the significance of the moment sinks in, it's time to rejoice for Indian hockey fans with both the men's and women's sides in the Semi final of Tokyo Olympics - now who could have foreseen that?