New Delhi [India], August 1 (ANI): Former Indian hockey player Ashok Kumar wants the Men In Blue to bring the gold medal back to the country in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
The Asian side has not claimed a medal in the Summer Olympics since 1980 and the Manpreet Singh-led squad is looking to end the 41-year-old medal drought.
Carrying the hopes of an entire nation, the Indian men's hockey team lived up to the billing with a scintillating 3-1 win against Great Britain in the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Ashok, son of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, said that the focus of the Manpreet Singh-led side will be on winning the next game against Belgium.
Hardik scored in the closing stages as India defeated Great Britain 3-1 to reach the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics. The team will face Belgium in the semis.
"I am very happy with the win and we were waiting for the side to script history. The way the Indian side has been playing in the recent past, be it Pro League matches or the ongoing Olympics, they will finish at the podium," Ashok told ANI.
"Semi-final is a deciding match for a medal and our team focus is on the next match and not on the summit clash," he added.
The World No.4 side, which kickstarted their Olympics campaign with a 3-2 win over New Zealand, went down against Australia (1-7) in their second match.
However, the Men in Blue staged a stunning comeback to win all the games before meeting Great Britain in the quarter-finals today.
"The team had a bad game where they were thrashed by Australia but the side came back and defeated Spain and Argentina, so things are going nicely with the side. The luck is with Team India right now," said Ashok.
Ashok was a part of the bronze medal-winning Indian side in the 1972 Olympics and he wants the Manpreet-led team to go for gold in the ongoing Games.
"When I started playing Hockey, I wanted to be an Olympian. I tried to create an impact at an individual level when I was playing for India. We won the bronze medal and I want to show that medal. This is the medal which I want the Indian team to convert into gold," said Ashok.
"I expect that in the upcoming semi-final the team will fulfill the dream of every Indian of seeing the Men In Blue on the podium in the Games," he added.
On Sunday, PV Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals as she defeated China's He Bing Jiao in the bronze medal match.
Sindhu defeated Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 in the bronze medal match that lasted for 52 minutes. Sindhu had earlier returned with a silver medal at the Rio Olympics 2016.
Hailing Sindhu for a remarkable feat, the former Indian hockey player said," I watched the game and Sindhu played confidently. With this bronze, she became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals.
"I had met her when she was just a child and I had never imagined that she will script history for India. PV Sindhu is an asset for India, she has come here after defeating big players in the world," Ashok signed off. (ANI)
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