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From Ex-coach Kabir Khan - Shah Rukh Khan Has a Special Message for Indian Women's Hockey Team

Indian women's hockey team in Olympic semis for first time, (inset) Shah Rukh Khan as Kabir Khan (AP/Twitter)

Indian women's hockey team in Olympic semis for first time, (inset) Shah Rukh Khan as Kabir Khan (AP/Twitter)

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan congratulated the Indian women's hockey team as they booked their place in the semi-final at the Olympics for the first time.

The Indian women’s hockey team made history as they defeated Australia 1-0 to book their place in the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics. This is the first time that the women’s team reached the Olympics semis.

India beat world No. 2 Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals as drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur scored the all-important goal in the 22nd minute with a powerful flick that deflected off a defender’s stick into the goal.

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Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who portrayed the role of Indian women’s hockey team coach Kabir Khan, in a fictional story for the movie ‘Chak de India!’.

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“Haan haan no problem. Just bring some Gold on your way back….for a billion family members. This time Dhanteras is also on 2nd Nov. From: Ex-coach Kabir Khan," he tweeted, quoting the real-life coach Sjoerd Marijne’s post.

Real-life coach Marijne tweeted, “Thank you for all the support and love. We will give everything again. From: The Real Coach," in reply.

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In fact, in the film, the Indian team had lost to Australia in the world cup and then went onto beat the same team in the final, with the reel-keeper being the star.

In real life, even though Gurjit Kaur scored the winning goal, it was keeper Savita Punia, who was toast of the nation on social media, with many dubbing her the ‘Wall of India’. Savita kept out the Hockeyroos from eight penalty corners.

Marijne revealed that watching a movie on self-belief after three consecutive losses rebuilt the Indian women’s hockey team’s shattered morale.

“The difference is believing in ourselves and believing in their dreams and then it’s about going back to reality focussing on your past. I think that is the main thing and that’s what we did," Marijne said after the match.

He went onto point out frailties in India’s game.

“The defending was not good enough especially defending in the circle. So we focussed on that. It also helps keep your mind away from winning and losing.

“It’s all about the mindset. I told the girls that we have nothing to lose, so play free, and that’s what we did today. It’s like a dream come true. I think this is the Chak De India in reality," he said

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first published:August 02, 2021, 15:02 IST