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HIGHLIGHTS

  • India beat Australia 1-0 in their women’s hockey quarterfinal in Tokyo
  • Indian women’s hockey team has made it to the Olympic semifinals for the first time in history
  • Gurjit Kaur scored the winning goal in the 22nd minute to seal India’s place in the last-4

As the final went off, the Indian team knew what they had achieved. Players, support staff, coach everyone ran from every corner to to gather at one place on the pitch.

Chak de India songs were reverberating at the North Pitch of Oi Hockey stadium. It took a while for the players to separate with everyone so much consumed in the moment.

The Australian women’s team was on the knees well aware of what had struck them.

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As the Indian women’s team walked out from the pitch every individual whether Indian or not, in whatever role he or she was at the venue, gave them huge round of applause.

Every Indian was part of this historic feat, irrespective of whether he was part of the hockey team or not. Volunteers, match officials, venue officials everyone was congratulating the Indians, including journalists.

Rani Rampal admitted later that it took her some time to sink in the feeling.

“It’s the biggest moment for Indian hockey. Men’s and women’s team in semis. I’m super proud of the team. We said to each other – give it your all and we did exactly that,” Rani said after the match

Coach, asked how do they go about in the next semifinal, said: “They will enjoy first. They should enjoy this moment,” and that reflected the sentiments and emotions running in the Indian team for what they had achieved.

Gurjit Kaur, who scored her maiden Olympics goal to fire India into the semis, was at a loss for words but somehow managed to say a few words before joining in the celebrations with her teammates.

“Very happy with the win, everybody worked very hard for this win. We performed like one team and we are feeling so happy to have qualified for the semifinals. Thank you to all those who supported the Indian women’s team,” Gurjit said.

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