What a day! History had been made. India had reclaimed the long-lost glory of its rich hockey legacy by winning Bronze.
Indian men's hockey history was rewritten in Tokyo. A note of thanks to the city and to the team who made good use of the opportunity despite tough circumstances … given the pandemic and the restrictions.
Attitude of gratitude shining through. You know why she chose Blue.
Manpreet and Co. registered a memorable win. This one's for the history books!
There we are. One among many, united in spirit ... in a melding of sport and humanity. Like a true homecoming ... only in a different city (Tokyo).
Whoa! What a day! Let that sink in. Until daybreak, tanoshinde ne!
Check out what Gurjant had to say!
What a pleasant surprise from PM Modi after the much-deserved victory!
Belgium beat Australia in a shoot-out to win Gold in hockey.
Amine goes straight for Deepak's left leg, but Deepak swerves out of the way. But the San Marinian is not one to let go of easily. He attacks the legs again. Deepak is exhausted. They are both in a locked stance.
Amine ups his attacks, while Deepak continues to defend, all the while trying to push Amine out of the circle. He almost succeeds, until Amine lifts Deepak's right leg. Deepak is in a split while trying to defend and this is not amusing in the least. Amine gets the upper hand, gets on top of Deepak.
Deepak's coach is furious and calls for a referral, but the odds are in Amine's favour. Deepak loses the Bronze match.
Tokyo talkathon feat. Bhagya
Deepak Punia, who lost 10-0 in the semifinal, put on a brave fight and was leading from the start. It could have gone either way until Nazem Amine Myles staged a fightback towards the end to emerge victorious, becoming the first wrestler from San Marino to win an Olympic medal.
Amine is the one coming forward, trying to get Deepak into an anklehold. Deepak swerves away, waits for his opponent, gets an opportunity, gets on to Amine's back and bags some quick points. Fasten your seatbelts!
Deepak attacks, pushing Amine away from the centre, but Amine reverses the events in a flash, taking Deepak out of the circle.
Exciting wrestling, but the aggression is building up in the second half. Uguev defends well, trying to clamp down from above on Ravi. Ravi attacks, but doesn't quite make it.
Ravi tries to push out Uguev, but the latter is quite the tough nut. He adheres to the mat and stays put. Uguev gets behind Ravi and puts him in a hold that Ravi cannot get out of. Two more points for Uguev.
We are in for something of a grandstand finish. Superb effort from Ravi against a world champion who just does not lose big matches.
Tokyo talkathon feat. Bhagya
Ravi Kumar Dahiya made it hard for his opponent, but it was not to be at the end. Silver medal for Ravi, who will interact with the press after the medal ceremony.
Ravi and Uguev take centrestage. It's history in the making. Ravi enters, with the mark on his right bicep – that he suffered from the bite by Nurislam in the semifinal -- still visible. Uguev follows him.
The first point goes to Uguev in the first minute. In the second minute, Uguev pushes Ravi out of the centre circle again. More points for the Russian. Ravi fights back, gets Uguev on his back by the end of the second minute. Score: 2-2 with four more minutes to go.
Next up, two more points for Uguev, but Ravi gets on to his back. Ravi retaliates. He tries to push Uguev, who outmaneouvres Ravi and both are out of the circle. A mistake from Ravi, who gets a caution from the referee. Uguev pushes him out of the circle again.
Bajrang Punia cheers for Ravi Dahiya, egging him on to script history before him.
Ravi Dahiya is one step away from winning an Olympic medal. He is the fourth Indian wrestler following on the steps of KD Jadhav, Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt. Ravi has been training at Delhi's Chhatrasal Stadium since 2009.
Did you know?
Ravi's room at Chhatrasal was once used by Yogeshwar Dutt. It was built for him. After Yogeshwar made inroads into politics and quit wrestling, Ravi had been given this room. It's a lucky room since Yogeshwar went on to win accolades for India from there. Will the lucky history play out well for Ravi as well? Looks like!
Ravi Dahiya will be up against Russia's Zavur Uguev at 4:20 pm. Yesterday, Ravi won accolades for his indomitable spirit during his bout against Kazakhstan's Nurislam Sanayev. Cricket legend Virender Sehwag lauded Ravi on his win yesterday:
Guess who else complimented the grappler yesterday? Laletta!
Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus loses to China's Pang Qianyu. There go Vinesh's chances of bringing home a Bronze.
Earlier in the day, Vinesh Phogat lost to Vanesa Kaladzinskaya in the wrestling quarterfinals. But there is another bout Team India fans are focusing on in the ongoing session. The bout between Belarus' Vanesa Kaladzinskaya and China's Pang Qianyu will decide Vinesh's repechage fate.
If Vanesa wins the bout and goes through to the finals, Vinesh will have a chance at winning Bronze via repechage.
Sandeep Kumar ranks 23rd clocking in 1:25:07; Rahul Rohilla ranks 47th, with a timing of 1:32:06; and KT Irfan is in the 51st spot clocking in 1:34:41.
Just a quick update from the Wrestling venue: A couple of hours before the start of the evening session the volunteers here was busy getting things ready.
On Mat A, the medal podium was set up and when the volunteers got on it to take a few pics, couldn't resist clicking one!
Simultaneously on Mat B, the first-aid dress rehearsal was on.
The lights were tested and even the mechanism that lifts the flags (of the podium winners) up when the national anthem is played was checked. Will India's national anthem be played in some time from now?
At the 18km mark, take a look at where Sandeep Kumar, Rahul Rohilla are placed:
Take a look at where KT Irfan is:
KT Irfan, Rahul Rohilla & Sandeep Kumar take part in men's 20km race-walk finals.
It's now time for a short break but we will be back in some time as India look to make more history today, this time on the wrestling mat. While Vinesh Phogat lost her quarterfinal bout, coming up in the afternoon is Ravi Kumar Dahiya, who will look to become only the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to win an individual Gold medal at the Olympics. Here's hoping he can emulate the Indian men's hockey team and make it one of Indian sport's best days ever!
Remember these faces!
We can't get enough of this, but then again, India have won their first Olympic hockey medal since Moscow 1980.
The Indian men’s hockey team has now won 12 hockey medals at the Olympics in total - eight Golds, one Silver and three Bronze. Today's Bronze was India’s second medal in Tokyo after their Gold at the 1964 Games.
Of course, everyone is talking about it!
Another good day for Indian women at the golf course. In the Women's Individual Stroke Play, After Round 2, India's Aditi Ashok has maintained her position from the first round and is tied 2nd with 9 under. Diksha Dagar is tied 53rd.
Sreejesh has been a wall for India throughout the tournament, and today was no different, as he saved Germany's penalty corner in the final few seconds of the match to secure India's historic Bronze.
Can you feel the delight of the players through these pictures?
Wrestling hasn't had a great start this morning, but Ravi Kumar Dahiya's final is still to come, and meanwhile we have a hockey medal to celebrate!!!
And all of India is celebrating, a Bronze for the hockey men, India's first Olympic success after 41 long years… Oh, the wait has been painful, but what a win it was today, coming back and beating Germany 5-4 to make history.
Can't keep calm!!! Woohoo!!!
Bhagya, watching live for Sify.com, is also feeling the loss.
It is disappointing. When I entered, the score was 7-2 in favour of Vinesh's opponent. There were three bouts happening simultaneously on Mats A, B and C. Vinesh was standing on Mat B. There was a long break. I couldn't check why. Especially after the Rio heartbreak, we were expecting a redemption of sorts from our top wrestler. It didn't look good for her again after the break, and the match was over as she was pinned down. Fingers crossed now that her opponent enters the final, so Vinesh gets another chance. That match takes place in the second half.
Vinesh is unable to get into the fight, and she goes down 3-9 to Belarus' Vanesa Kaladzinskaya by fall in the Women’s Freestyle 53kg quarterfinal.
The 26-year-old made a cautious start, which Kaladzinskaya pounced on to make it 5-2 in the first period. Vinesh tried to go on the attack in the second period, but the Belarusian, who is former world champion, defended superbly to turn it in her favour and extend her lead. A successful challenge reduced the deficit, but Kaladzinskaya then finished off the match by pinning Vinesh to the mat.
Really disappointing from the Indian wrestler. She is the World No. 1 and was top seed in Tokyo, unbeaten in 2021 until this bout. Her dream at Rio 2016 ended in a horrifying manner with a career-threatening injury, but she will get another chance here via repechage if Vanesa Kaladzinskaya gets to the final.
While we let that incredible win sink in, it's time to go back to wrestling as Vinesh Phogat is back in action. Next up is Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus in the Women’s Freestyle 53kg quarterfinal.
Kaladzinskaya is another tough opponent for the Indian top seed. She is a two-time world champion and the 2020 European Champion.
And it looks like Sify.com's Bhagya has reached the Makuhari Messe just in time again!
INDIA HAVE THEIR MEDAL! AFTER 41 YEARS! BRONZE FOR THE MEN'S HOCKEY TEAM!
Germany threw everything at it at the end, and had a final chance with a penalty corner in the last 6 seconds. But fittingly for India, one of their heroes of the tournament Sreejesh stood tall to make sure there would be no late twist in the tale.
So, a 5-4 win for India against Germany, and they win the Bronze in men's hockey. After a long wait of 41 years, India finally have an Olympic medal in hockey!
Let's savour this moment as the Indian team scream in joy and delight. They've made history!
Not sure what is going on, but play has been halted for some reason.
Germany captain Tobias Hauke is also back on as they go on the attack, looking for that one goal they need to take the match to a shoot-out.
Less than five minutes to go, and the Germans have now taken off their goalkeeper Alexander Stadler as well.
India need to make this count, or just hold on! 5-4! Minutes from history now!
An absolutely riveting game so far! Less than 10 minutes to go now, and no one can look away.
The experienced Tobias Hauke will have to sit out for a minimum of 5 minutes. India should look to take advantage of their extra man.
Is the momentum shifting towards Germany? Lukas Windfeder gets one to go through the legs of Sreejesh from their eighth penalty corner of the match, to make it 5-4.
Still plenty of time to go. India need to keep their heads!
Germany try to come back into the game with a series of penalty corners at the end, attempting variations as well. But the Indian defence is not breached, even when first rusher Amit Rohidas is off the pitch.
So, India go into the final 15 minutes with a 5-3 lead. The third quarter was all theirs, Rupinder Pal Singh putting them in the lead for the first time in the match before Simranjeet Singh got his second goal of the game to build India's advantage.
Just need to keep this lead and hold off the Germans in the last quarter. The Bronze is in our sights now!
She was handed a tough draw, but she has shown why she's the top seed in Tokyo!
Vinesh Phogat dominates Sofia Magdalena Mattsson of Sweden in the Women’s Freestyle 53kg pre-quarterfinals, winning 7-1. The 2016 Olympic bronze-medallist made an attacking start, but Vinesh quickly turned the tables around. Some confident counter-attacks ensured a comfortable win, and Vinesh is now through to the quarterfinals. Coming up soon!
Simranjeet Singh again! Set up by Gurjant Singh, he fires home from close range to make it 5-3.
India FIVE. Germany THREE.
India have got four goals in a row now. 10 minutes still left in the third quarter, plus the fourth quarter to go. Come on, India!
Rupinder Pal Singh scores!!! Mandeep Singh was brought down right in front of the German goal, leading to a penalty stroke for India. From 1-3 down, the Indian men are now in the lead for the first time in this match. Remarkable!
Germany have also lost their referral.
Sify.com's Bhagya was at the Oi Hockey Stadium to witness the madness of that quarter, but with a big day coming up in wrestling, she has a tough choice to make and is on her way out now.
The plan was never to stay for long. I entered the Press Tribune with less than 10 minutes to go in the second quarter and man, what I witnessed was pure gold!
Two penalty corners... One goal for Hardik Singh and the other for Harmanpreet Singh... The score tied at 3-3 at half-time.
Time for me to leave for the wrestling venue. See you soon!
She send her thanks to this volunteer, who helped her make a quick stop at the media centre in time to send us some photos and reaction.
Time for a breather for the players (and me!), but what a thrilling 15 minutes of hockey! Five goals in total! My fingers had a hard time keeping up with that!
After a subdued performance in the first half, India hit back via a superb goal from Simranjeet Singh - his second in the tournament. But Germany took advantage of some sloppy defending by India to build a two-goal lead through Niklas Wellen and Benedikt Furk.
Then India stormed back and how! From two penalty corners, Hardik Singh and Harmanpreet Singh added to their tally to level the scores at 3-3 going into half-time.
Manpreet Singh's men look to be on the up now! Game on!!!
Anshu Malik did well to keep it to 1-1, earning a passivity point after her opponent failed to score. But with two minutes to go, the more experienced Russian pulls off two takedowns to win 5-1 in the Women’s Freestyle 57kg category repechage round. The 2016 Rio silver medallist Valeria Koblova was just too strong for Anshu, who will be celebrating her 20th birthday tomorrow.
Hard luck, it's been a tough draw for the 19-year-old Olympic debutant. Anshu will learn from this experience and come back stronger, though!
Another penalty corner, another goal! Harmanpreet Singh this time, scoring his sixth of the competition! India have come back from 3-1 to make it 3-3, all in this second quarter. And there's still a little time left…
Sify.com's Bhagya is standing near the media entry and taking these shots, cheering on the men-in-blue at the Oi Hockey Stadium!
Hardik Singh is at hand after a penalty corner is saved to make it 3-2. Germany keeper Alexander Stadler is fairly inexperienced, so India would do well to put him under pressure again.
Meanwhile, Sify.com's Bhagya is at the Press Tribune at the Oi Hockey Stadium, watching this live!
Also keeping an eye on Anshu Malik. The 19-year-old Indian wrestler lost her opening round yesterday in the Women’s Freestyle 57kg category to Iryna Kurachkina of Belarus in the Round of 16. However, since her opponent has made it to the final, she gets another shot at Bronze in the repechage round.
She is about to start her bout against 2016 Rio silver medallist Valeria Koblova of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) at the Makuhari Messe.
If Anshu wins, the Olympic debutant will next face Bulgaria’s Evelina Nikolova, who lost to Iryna Kurachkina in the semifinals, in the Bronze medal match. Nikolova is a world championships bronze-medallist.
3-1 to Germany. Another mistake by the Indian defence - Sreejesh is visibly angry - and Germany make the most of the possession gifted to them when Benedikt Furk taps in a short cross. 5 minutes left in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Sify.com's Bhagya has arrived at the Oi Hockey Stadium. Just in time, hope she can bring us some luck!
What a move by the Germans!
Christopher Ruhr produces magic to beat his marker - although the Indian defence should have done better - before providing a killer pass for Niklas Wellen to put Germany back in the lead.
That's more like it! Great start to the second quarter and great finish by Simranjeet Singh, who sends a powerful back-hand into the German goal after a beautiful cross from Nilakanta Sharma. India draw level with Germany, 1-1.
That was some amazing skill from Simranjeet, who turned around, evaded a defender and slammed in a powerful reverse hit.
Germany end this quarter firmly on top, but it's that man Sreejesh keeping India in this again! The Indian defence keeps their concentration to deny the Germans from the four back-to-back penalty corners in the dying minutes. The score remains at 1-0.
Earlier, Germany had a couple of good chances but one goal-bound effort ended up hitting a German player, while another went wide of the post.
India earned one penalty corner (but Rupinder Pal Singh could not convert) and also managed to hit the post, but they've clearly been second-best in this quarter and will need to be more positive and attacking if they want that medal.
First blood to Germany. Timur Oruz puts his team 1-0 up within the first couple of minutes, after India fail to clear during a goal-mouth scramble.
The defence will need to do better against the pace of the Germans here.
Thanks, Bhagya. So, can India end the 41-year-long wait and get a medal in hockey today? We are about to find out. India vs Germany men's hockey Bronze medal match is about to begin!
Of course, it's not going to be easy. Germany are a strong team, who only missed out to Australia in the semifinal, much in the same way that India lost to Belgium in the final quarter of their semifinal defeat. The Germans are ranked fourth in the world, just below India at No. 3, and have been dominant in recent years in men's hockey, winning the Bronze in Rio 2016.
Still, at the business end of the tournament, these are the kind of matches one needs to win to taste Olympic glory.
Here's the line-up of the men on the pitch, who will be hoping to make India's dream come true!
I will be starting in a short while from now, today is going to be more hectic emotionally for us all, with the spotlight on both hockey and wrestling as our athletes eye more medals for India at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 on Day 14. Click here for the exclusive interaction with Belgium coach Michel van den Heuvel on Manpreet & co. should do in the bronze match.
I will keep filling you in with updates and reactions from the venues. Meanwhile, over to my colleagues Priyanka and Jayaa back in India for live updates.
Jersey Nos. 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 26, 30 and 32 - an opportunity for each one of these shirts to be part of India's Olympic history. Starting with the build-up and since the beginning their campaign, Manpreet Singh's men have shown their readiness despite the pandemic and the challenges that brought along. And with every match they have played here, they have made us proud.
Their single-minded purpose when they step out on to the field against Germany today, will be to give the country their biggest celebration in a long long time at the Olympics - a medal in hockey.
In just over an hour from now, the Indian men's national hockey team will be up against Germany in the Bronze medal clash at this venue - the Oi Hockey Stadium.
Over the last couple of weeks, this North Pitch has seen the revival of Indian hockey in many ways. Tears of joy and disappointment, it's been a mixed emotional rollercoaster for both men and the women's hockey teams.