Soon after the Indian men's team won their first Olympic hockey medal in 41 years, they had a ''surprise caller" from back home in India. Captain Manpreet Singh and the team's head coach Graham Reid and assistant coach Piyush Dubey received a call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who congratulated them for their historic win.
Manpreet Singh, who held the phone with the speaker on, says, "Namaskar sir." PM Modi, on the other end, can be hearing saying in Hindi, "Bahut, bahut, bahut badhayi (many congratulations)." PM Modi said the team has done a stupendous work in Tokyo.
"Many, many congratulations to you and the entire team, you have made history. The entire country is filled with joy. Your hard work has paid off. You have done a lot of hard work, please wish the entire side on my behalf. The entire country is happy, congratulations coach Reid, you have created history. My best wishes are with you," PM Modi was heard saying in a video posted by Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and on the official Twitter handle of Sports Authority of India Media.
PM Modi told Manpreet Singh, "You have scripted history." He said that today, Mr Singh's voice is loud and clear, whereas it was slightly muted the other day (when India lost to Belgium).
Coach Reid told PM Modi: "You're words after the semi-final were fantastic and very inspirational."
PM Modi, who had earlier tweeted a congratulatory message today, had also spoken to Mr Singh and Mr Reid after the Indian side came up short in the semi-finals against Belgium.
India were down 3-1 early but overturned the deficit to go into the final quarter leading 5-3, before a fourth German goal set up a tense close.
India's bronze medal in Tokyo possesses enormous significance for India, which has a proud record of eight Olympic gold medals in the sport.