Preview, Day 11: Indian hockey gears up for one of the most important days in recent history when the Manpreet Singh-led and Graham Reid-coached team takes on Belgium in the men's hockey semi-finals early on Tuesday.
The semi-final will be India's first at this stage of the Olympics in 49 years, having last managed the feat at the 1972 Games in Munich. A victory will give then assure them of their first Olympic medal in the sport since Moscow 1980, giving the game that had seen a major decline in the nation since the 1980s a major fillip and could help bring about an Asian resurgence.
The women's team had earlier on Monday scripted a stunning 1-0 win over the powerful Australian team to secure their maiden entry into the last four in the Olympics since. In only their third appearance at the Games after Moscow 1980 and Rio de Janiero 2016, the Rani Rampal-led side have made it to the semi-finals, bouncing back from a disastrous start that saw them lose their first three games of the campaign, including a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Netherlands.
The men's team, meanwhile, have registered four wins on the trot since their 7-1 hammering at the hands of Australia in the group stage, including a 3-1 win over Great Britain in the quarter-final that saw the likes of Gurjant Singh, Dilpreet Singh and Hardik Singh scored for Reid's men. They began their campaign with a narrow 3-2 win over New Zealand.
Aside from the men's hockey semi-final, which begins at 7 am IST, javelin thrower Annu Rani and shot-putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor will be in action in the wee hours on Tuesday. The pair will hope to get India an athletics medal that once again eluded them on Monday with discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur finishing sixth on Games debut with a best throw of 63.70m.
Sonam Malik will get India's wrestling campaign underway later on Tuesday as she takes on Mongolia's Bolortuya Khurelkhuu in the women's 62kg event. Wrestling is one of the disciplines that is expected to add to India's medal tally in the final leg of the 2020 Olympics with Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat key hopes for a podium finish.
You can check the complete Day 11 schedule here.