According to him, people should stop blaming the league as players of other countries have lauded IPL for their success in the global event in the UAE.

The celebrations started simultaneously in Tokyo and across India for a bronze medal that’s taken 41 years to forge.

For the most successful nation in the Olympic field hockey competition, India’s 5-4 victory over Germany in the bronze-medal match at the Tokyo Games was celebrated like gold.

It was India’s 12th Olympic medal in the sport, but its first since 1980.

India captain Manpreet Singh dedicated the medal to the country’s healthcare workers in the midst of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

“As the whole team and as coaches, we would like to dedicate this medal to our doctors and (health workers) who have been sacrificed for us and saved so many people’s lives there in India and everywhere in this world,” he said. “So we would like to dedicate this medal to those warriors.”

Singh said the preparation for the Tokyo Games felt like it had been more like 15 years than 15 months.

India rallied from 3-1 down and then fended off a German penalty corner in the last few seconds.

India won seven Olympic gold medals between 1928 and 1964 — losing only in the 1960 final in that run. Then there was a big gap until another gold medal in 1980. Between the Moscow Games and Tokyo, India placed no higher than fifth.

Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh, who was among the five scorers against Germany, shed tears as he predicted the start of a renaissance for the sport in India.

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir lauded the hockey team and stated that the bronze medal victory is bigger than the cricket World Cup wins in 1983, 2007 and 2011.

“Forget 1983, 2007 or 2011, this medal in Hockey is bigger than any World Cup! #IndianHockeyMyPride,” he wrote on Twitter.

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