The Indian men's hockey team scripted history on Thursday by winning an Olympic medal after 41 years, beating Germany 5-4 in the bronze medal play-off match here.
PTI takes a look at the lives and careers of the men who made the difference in Tokyo on Thursday, lifting themselves up splendidly following the 2-5 defeat against Belgium in the semifinal.
MANPREET SINGH: The Inspirational Leader
The 29-year-old hails from a small village of Mithapur in Jalandhar. From a young age, Manpreet saw his mother, Manjeet Kaur, toil hard.
Kaur had to take up odd jobs to support the family after her husband was bogged down by mental health issues and had to give up his career. Manpreet's father died in 2016 while the midfielder was competing in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
The Indian skipper made his international debut in 2011 at the age of 19. His first big tournament as member of the senior team was the 2012 London Olympics. He has since represented the country at all major tournaments and featured in India's fine victories including the gold at the 2014 Asian Games.
Under Manpreet's captaincy, India were crowned champions at the 2018 Asian Champions Trophy. In 2019, he was named the FIH Player of the Year.
The past year has also been tough as apart from the lockdown, Manpreet even had to battle COVID-19.
P R SREEJESH: The Great Wall of India
Born in Kizhakkambalam village in Kerala's Ernakulam district to a family of farmers, India's custodian is arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the world, standing tall as the team's last line of defence.
The 35-year-old made his debut for the senior team in 2006 at the South Asian Games in Sri Lanka, and has been an integral part of the national team since 2011.
Appointed captain in 2016, Sreejesh led the side to silver medals at the FIH Men's Hockey Champions Trophy in 2016 and 2018.
As a child Sreejesh was serious about various sports, including sprinting, long jump, and volleyball. But turned to hockey at the age of 12 on the instance of his coach.
His father, P V Raveendran, who struggled to make ends meet, had to sell his cow to raise money for the goalkeeping kit.
In a state where hockey was not a popular sport, many advised Sreejesh to change track but the goalkeeper persisted and the rest is history.
HARMANPREET SINGH: Drag-flick King
The son of a farmer in Jandiala Guru township, a village in the outskirts of Amritsar, Harmanpreet made his international debut in 2015. He was part of the silver winning teams at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and the FIH Men's Champions Trophy in 2016.
He also played a pivotal role in India's gold-winning campaign at the FIH Men's World Series Finals as well as the 2019 Olympic Qualifiers.
As a kid, Harmanpreet was fascinated by his father's tractor. Having driven it for the first time at the age of 10, under supervision, the future Indian team defender would struggle with the rusty gear stick.
Slowly he developed enough strength in his arms and shoulder to outmanoeuvre the gear stick. The defender attributes the power he generates for the drag-flicks to the battle with the gear stick.
RUPINDER PAL SINGH: Another Drag-flick Genius
'Bob' to his teammates, Rupinder is one of the most lethal drag-flickers in the world. The lanky defender made his international debut in 2010 at the Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament, where India clinched the gold.
Named vice-captain in 2014, Rupinder has had a topsy-turvy journey as he was dropped from the team for the 2018 Champions Trophy squad but was recalled for the Asian Games later in the year, where he made a solid comeback to the side by scoring a marvellous hat-trick against Sri Lanka and the team went on to clinch the bronze.
Born in a Sikh family in Faridkot, Punjab, at 6'4", Rupinder easily stands out with his beanpole physique.
He started playing hockey at the age of 11 and even though his family came from a modest economic background they always supported him.
The 26-year-old's elder brother, a former state-level hockey player, sacrificed his own career in sports and also left education midway, taking up a marginal job to support their father financially, so that Rupinder could pursue hockey.
SIMRANJEET SINGH: Super Striker
The 24-year-old, who scored a brace in the bronze medal playoff against Germany on Thursday, was added to the squad following the International Olympic Committee's decision to allow "alternate athletes" in team events because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Simranjeet, a product of Jalandhar's Surjit Singh Hockey Academy, was also a member of India's 2016 Junior World Cup-winning side.
His cousin and junior World Cup teammate Gurjant Singh is also a part of the squad.
The youngster's family hails from Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit city.
HARDIK SINGH: Upcoming midfield star of Indian hockey ====================================
Hockey runs in Hardik's genes. From his father to his uncle and aunt everyone has played hockey for the country.
The 22-year-old midfielder born in Khusropur in Jalandhar honed his skills under his uncle Jugraj Singh, the former Indian drag-flicker.
His other uncle -- Gurmail Singh -- was part of the 1980 Summer Olympics where India clinched the historic gold. Gail's wife and Hardik's aunt Rajbir Kaur was the former women's team captain.
Hardik's father Varinderpreet Singh Ray, who works as a police officer, also played for India and grandfather Preetam Singh Ray was a hockey coach with the Indian Navy.
Hardik made his international debut with the senior team at the 2018 Hero Asian Champions Trophy where India clinched the gold medal.
He soon became a regular feature in the team's midfield and was a part of India's gold medal-winning feat at the 2019 FIH Men's Series Finals in Bhubaneswar, as well as a part of the 2019 Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers.
GRAHAM REID: The Master tactician
A veteran of 130 international matches, Reid was a member of the Australian hockey team that won the silver medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
A disciple of the legendary Ric Charlesworth, Reid was his assistant in the Australian team for five years before being elevated to the top position in 2014.
Under his tutelage, the Australian team finished sixth at the Rio Olympics after being eliminated by the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.
The 57-year-old was appointed the Indian men's team coach in 2019.
He has often spoken about pursuing a process and investing in youth to get the results at a big stage like the Olympics.