Moments after the India men’s hockey team clinched the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, celebrations broke out at Mithapur, the native village of captain Manpreet Singh and his teammates Mandeep Singh and Varun Kumar, in Jalandhar district.
Four of the 18-member Team India squad are from Jalandhar district, including Hardik Singh from Khursopur village.
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Former Olympian and Congress MLA Pargat Singh also belongs to Mithapur.
Residents of Mithapur rushed to the houses of Manpreet, Mandeep and Varun to celebrate the much-awaited medal after 41 years. At Manpreet’s house, people danced in joy to the beats of the dhol as his mother, Manjit Kaur, congratulated the captain on the historic win over a video call.
Bronze equally precious, history made: Kin
“Hard work of more than 12 years has finally borne fruit for Manpreet and his teammates. We were hopeful for the gold but the bronze medal is equally precious as history has been made. India will win the gold next time,” Manjit said.
She said Manpreet didn’t call her up after losing the match to Australia. “He was upset but I motivated him to focus on the bronze medal match,” she said.
Player Mandeep Singh’s father Ravinder Singh agreed that it’s a historic occasion. “I’m proud of the boys, it’s the biggest ever gift.”
Relatives and friends gathered at Varun’s house as his father Bhrama Nand congratulated him on the victory.
The families of the three players also paid obeisance at the local gurdwara.
Hardik Singh’s father, Varinderpreet Singh, is a superintendent of police at Batala. Residents of their native Khursopur village exchanged greetings with the family after the match.