The Indian women’s hockey team went down fighting against Great Britain, conceding a 3-4 defeat in the bronze medal match at the Oi Hockey Stadium. Rani Rampal and co enjoyed a stellar campaign at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but failed to secure a podium finish despite a brilliant effort in the game for bronze.
In a game full of enormous comebacks, India returned from 0-2 down to lead 3-2 in the second quarter before the Great Britain began to dominate proceedings throughout the rest of the game. They eventually equalised in the final minutes of the third quarter before inflicting an early setback on India at the start of fourth.
Braving the harsh conditions in Tokyo, both the sides put out a relentless shift but Great Britain were successful in warding off the Indian threats towards the final stages of the game even as the weather conditions did seem to take a toll over both the sides.
India scored three goals in a span of five minutes through Gurjit Kaur (25th, 26th minutes) and Vandana Katariya (29th) to stun Great Britain after trailing 0-2, conceding a goal each in the first two quarters.
But the Britishers found the net four times through Elena Rayer (16th), Sarah Riobertson (24th), skipper Hollie Pearne-Webb (35th) and Grace Baldson (48th) to emerge winners.
India’s best performance in the Olympics was a fourth place finish in the 1980 Moscow Games.
In that edition, there were no semifinals as only six teams competed in a round-robin format with the top two featuring in the final.
The heartbreak comes a day after the men’s team ended a 41-year medal drought to win bronze, defeating Germany 5-4 in a tense match.