Mon, 02 Oct 2023

New Delhi [India] August 5 (ANI): India hockey goalkeeper PR Sreejesh has said the team winning a Bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year was very special as it ended the country's wait of over four decades for an Olympic medal in hockey and the team is poised for bigger feats.

Ahead of Saturday's semi-final clash against South Africa at the CWG 2022, he said the team is geared up for the match.

A year ago on this day, the Indian Men's Hockey Team scripted history by clinching bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. It was India's first medal at the Olympics in Hockey since the 1980 Moscow Olympics, where the Indian Men's Hockey team won Gold.

The Bronze Medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 ended a 41-year medal drought for Indian Hockey at the mega sporting event.

The Bronze Medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 sparked the resurgence of India as a superpower in world hockey.

PR Sreejesh, who played an extremely crucial role for the Indian Men's Hockey team on their way to the Bronze Medal in Tokyo, recalls the historic campaign fondly.

"I cannot believe it has been a year already, as I remember the Tokyo Olympics campaign very clearly. That moment was truly special as it ended the country's wait of over four decades. Now, the team is poised for bigger feats and definitely we are on the right path."India outclassed Germany in a highly entertaining Bronze medal tie that ended 5-4 in India's favour. "The last few seconds were very close, intense and we even conceded a PC. Thinking of those moments, I have goosebumps," recalled Sreejesh, as he gears up to stand tall yet again for India at an all-important semi-final clash at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The star goal-keeper said they were focusing on upcoming challenges.

"We learnt a lot about ourselves as a team at the Tokyo Olympics, which has helped us improve as a squad, and now we are completely focused on the upcoming challenges such as the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela and the Paris Olympics 2024, where hopefully we can go even further. But first, our target is on the match tomorrow (Saturday) and we are all set."Sreejesh also expressed his gratitude towards Hockey India, Odisha State Government, Sports Authority of India, Ministry of Youth AffairsSports.

"The professional and structured approach by Hockey India has been one of the major factors for all our recent successes. They have really helped us come leaps and bounds not only as players but collectively as a squad. I hope they continue to support us in the same fashion because that will surely guarantee more medals for India in Hockey. We are all very thankful for the undying support of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who has played such a crucial role of hosting big events in India, helping us gain exposure. I also thank SAI and MYAS for their continued support." (ANI)

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