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Tokyo Olympics will be as memorable as it was for us in 1964: Harbinder Singh.

24/07/2020

New Delhi, July 24, (HS) Harbinder Singh, who was a member of the Indian hockey team that won gold medal in the 1964 Olympics, has hoped that next year the Tokyo Olympics will be as memorable as it was for them in 1964.

 

He said, “The final match against Pakistan in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games has very vivid memories. It was a tense final and the umpire warned both teams that if there was any dishonesty during the match, the player would be given a red card and would be out of the match.”


He said that we had put the journey to the finals with a very strong performance. During this time we had defeated some big teams. In which we beat Belgium 2–0, Hong Kong 6–0, Malaysia 3–1, Canada 3–0 and Netherlands 2–1. We had also played draw with Germany (1–1 draw) and Spain (1–1). We defeated Australia (3-1) in the semi-finals.


He said that both India and Pakistan performed really well in the first half of the final. There were many strong chances of scoring goals but neither of us was successful. Both teams could not score a goal in the first half. India scored a penalty corner within the first five minutes of the second half. It was a really good chance to score. The hit was taken by Prithvipal Singh, who scored a total of 10 goals in the Olympic Games. But the ball was defended due to hitting Pakistan captain (Manzoor Hussain) Atif. Due to this the umpire gave India a penalty stroke. This was our golden opportunity and Mohinder Lal was brilliant in scoring goals. We took a 1-0 lead and that was the final score. Although Pakistan did everything they could to get an equal and an edge, but we defended the score wholeheartedly. It was a very memorable match and very thrilling for me personally as it was my first Olympics. Winning a gold medal in my first Olympics was definitely a great feeling.


Now after more than half a century, the Olympics are happening again in Tokyo where I want to see the Indian team winning the gold medal. I think it will be a great opportunity for our team to repeat this history by winning a gold medal at the same place and it will be as memorable as it was for us in 1964.


He said, “Every hockey fan's dream is to see India win the highest honour. We have a year to start the Olympic Games and I wish all the players and support staff preparing for the Tokyo Olympics. I wish they bring medals to the country.”


 
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