Indian women’s hockey team created history as they beat Australia 1-0 in the quarter-final at the Tokyo Olympics to advance to the semi-final for the first time in history..
Gurjit Kaur scored the match-winner as her Penalty Corner found its way into the back of the net in the 22nd minute after India had the better of the opening exchanges.
The 25-year-old drag-flicker layer said that the win wasn’t about any single individual but the entire team.
“Everyone worked hard today. We gave everything and that makes us so happy,” Kaur told broadcaster Sony Sports after the game.
“This team is like a family and that’s not just the player but also the support staff. We have the blessings of a hockey-loving nation and that’s why we are here in the semi-finals,” she added.
India had a lot of work to do after taking the lead in the second quarter, but held their nerves extremely well. The team had to dig deep in the third quarter when Australia came hard at them but showed great composure to see off the game in the fourth and final quarter.
The win was by no means a smash and grab result and India had earned the win over the sixty minutes.
“This is a result of years of hard work,” Gurjit Kaur said.
“We stay in camps for months and work hard every single day. This is a reward for that dedication. We played together as one team and we are elated that we have qualified for the semi-finals for the first time,” she added.
India finished fourth at the 1980 Olympics but that tournament had a round-robin format. So making the first-ever semi-final at the Olympics is a historic feat for India who were ranked ninth at the start of the tournament.
“We are receiving so much support from our fans. Hockey is big in India and it’s a great feeling to see the country happy,” she added.
India will now be hoping to double the joys when they take on Argentina in the semi-final on August 4 and secure the Indian women’s hockey team’s first-ever Olympic medal.