New Delhi: Both the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams made the country proud at the Tokyo Olympics. The men finished third to end India’s medal-less run in Olympic hockey after 41 years. The last time the men’s team had won a medal was in 1980 when they bagged the bronze in Moscow. The women’s team finished fourth missing out on a bronze by losing the third-fourth place play-off match against Great Britain 3-4.
Since the return of the two teams Monday there has been a spate of felicitations. The new superstars of Indian hockey have been under constant glare giving interview and talking to various TV channels. Amid all this, Indian men’s team goalkeeper PR Sreejesh has coming up with an amusing anecdote. The Indian goalkeeper has narrated why he did not watch the bronze medal play-off game between Indian women and Great Britain.
“When the Indian eves were playing the semifinals, we were preparing for our next game. We were in a team meeting. We stopped it and put the live telecast on the projector. However, I felt immense pressure just sitting there and watching the game. It is a type of pressure which I have never experience while playing a crucial Olympic or World Cup game,” Sreejesh has been quoted as saying by NDTV.com. It was as if I could see my heart popping out and beating in front of my eyes,” he added.
It was this experience which prompted Sreejesh not to watch the eves’ next game even though by that time the men had won bronze. “I said I am not going to watch it (bronze medal match), because I will die. I just kept track of the live data to know what is happening. But never for a moment did I watch the game,” Sreejesh added.
Savita Punia, women’s hockey goalkeeper, said that it was indeed an emotional moment when the team finished fourth. “We couldn’t do well in Rio Olympics. I was particularly unhappy with my own performances, so all of us wanted to do better in Tokyo. It is our bad luck that we came so close to a medal but missed it by a whisker,” rued Savita.