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Sikhs impact at Tokyo Olympic Games – 1964 and 2020

by Dil Bahra
12 August 2021

Sikhs Players

Twenty two Sikhs representing Hong Kong; India; Kenya and Malaysia played at Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games.

Hong Kong's squad included three Sikhs, namely Harnam Singh Grewal; Kuldip Singh and Sarinder Singh Dillon.

India's Gold Medal winning squad at Tokyo 1964 included eight Sikhs, namely:  Prithipal Singh; Dharam Singh; Gurbux Singh; Joginder Singh; Harbinder Singh; Darshan Singh; Jagjit Singh and Udham Singh. India's coach was a Sikh, Dharam Singh Sr.

Kenya's team, led by a Sikh, Avtar Singh Sohal included six Sikhs, namely Amar Singh Mangat; Avtar Singh Sohal (Capt); Kirpal Singh Bhardwaj; Santokh Singh Matharu; Surjeet Singh Panesar; Tejparkash Singh Brar. Kenya's coach was a Sikh, Hardial Singh Kular.

Malaysia's team included three Sikhs, namely Kartar Singh Chandra; Ranjit Singh Gurdit and Tara Singh Sindhu.

Gursewak Singh of India was on the Umpires panel at Tokyo 1964.

It is interesting to note that the International Hockey Federation asked Tanganyika to fill the place in Pool A at Tokyo 1964 that was vacated by United Arab Republic. Tanganyika had selected a team, which included five Sikh players - Jaswant Singh Sandhu; Rabinder Singh Gill; Tarlochan Singh Lall; Tarlochan Singh Sandhu and Sem Singh Bhachu. Tanganyika Olympic Association, however, withdrew the hockey team due to lack of funds. This place was then allocated to Indonesia.

The Indonesian hockey team had three Sikh players in their squad. The Indonesian Squad was in Tokyo but withdrew shortly before the Games began (The international federations for athletics (IAAF) and swimming (FINA) refused to allow athletes that competed in the unsanctioned 1963 Games of the Newly Emerging Forces (GANEFO). This resulted in the full withdrawal of the Indonesian (and North Korean) Olympic team).

At Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games there were thirteen Sikhs representing Canada and India.

Canada Men's team had one Sikh player, namely Sukhpal Singh Panesar.

India Men's team, led by a Sikh, Manpreet Singh included nine Sikhs, namely Dilpreet Singh; Rupinder Pal Singh; Manpreet Singh (capt); Hardik Singh; Gurjant Singh;  Simranjeet Singh; Mandeep Singh;  Harmanpreet Singh and Shamsher Singh;

India's Women team had three Sikh players - Gurjit Kaur; Navjot Kaur and Navneet Kaur.

Sikh Goal Scorers

At Tokyo 1964, Sikhs scored a total of 29 goals. India's Prithipal Singh, was the top goal-scorer at the hockey tournament with ten goals. Sikhs scored 17 of India's 22 goals. Harbinder Singh scoring five and Darshan Singh scoring two to add to Prithipal's ten.

Six of Kenya's ten goals were scored by Sikhs - Avtar Singh Sohal and Amar Singh Mangat with three goals each.

Kuldip Singh Gosal scored for Hong Kong against Canada in 1964 and in 1976 he represented Canada at Montreal Olympics.

At Tokyo 2020, Sikhs scored a total of 27 goals.

In the Men's tournament, Sikhs scored 22 of India's 25 goals. Harmanpreet Singh, India's drag-flicking expert was the top Indian goal-scorer with 6 goals. Rupinder Pal Singh scored 4; Simranjeet Singh and Gurjant Singh scoring 3 goals each; Dilpreet Singh and Hardik scoring 2 goals each and Mandeep Singh and Shamsher Singh with a goal each.

In the Women's tournament, Sikh scored five of India's 12 goals. Gurjit Kaur scored four goals and Navneet Kaur one goal.

 
 
 
 

Enormous contribution by Sikh players wins India Men the Bronze at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

by Diljit Bahra
5 August 2021

India's team who beat Germany in the Bronze Medal match at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on 5 August 2021 included nine Sikh players in the squad of 16.

India won the thrilling match 5 - 4. All five of India's goals were scored by Sikh players - Simranjeet Singh (2), Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh and Hardik Singh.

At Tokyo 2020, Sikhs scored 22 of India's 25 goals in the hockey tournament. Harmanpreet Singh, India's drag-flicking expert was the top Indian goal-scorer with 6 goals. Rupinder Pal Singh scored 4; Simranjeet Singh and Gurjant Singh scoring 3 goals each; Dilpreet Singh and Hardik scoring 2 goals each and Mandeep Singh and Shamsher Singh with a goal each.

When the Olympic Games were played in Tokyo in 1964, India won the Gold. The Squad of 18 included eight Sikh players - Prithipal Singh; Dharam Singh; Gurbux Singh; Joginder Singh; Harbinder Singh; Darshan Singh; Jagjit Singh and Udham Singh. The coach was a Sikh, Dharam Singh Sr.

In 1964, Prithipal Singh, India's penalty corner expert, was the top goal-scorer at the hockey tournament with ten goals. Sikhs scored 17 of India's 22 goals, Harbinder Singh scoring five and Darshan Singh scoring two to add to Prithipal's ten.

The last time India was in a Bronze Medal match at Olympic Games was in Munich 1972. They defeated Netherlands 2 - 1. At Munich, India's squad of 18 included 8 Sikh players - Mukhbain Singh; Ajit Pal Singh; Harmik Singh (captain); Harbinder Singh; Kulwant Singh; Harcharan Singh; Virender Singh; and Ajit Singh.

At Munich, Sikhs scored 17 of India's 26 goals. Mukhbain Singh scored 9, Harmik Singh and Kulwant Singh scoring 4 goals each.

 
 
 
 

Sikh Men and Sikh Woman power India to Semi-finals at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

by Diljit Bahra
2 August 2021

On Sunday 1 August 2021, field goals by Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh and Hardik Singh, in India's 3 - 1 win against Great Britain put India into the semi-finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. They now play against Belgium in the semi-finals on 3 August.

The Indian Men's squad of eighteen includes nine Sikh players.

A day later, on Monday 2 August 2021, a penalty corner goal by Gurjit Kaur, in India's 1 - 0 win against Australia put India into the semi-finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. They now play against Argentina in the semi-finals on 4 August.

The Indian Women's squad of eighteen includes three Sikh players.

 
 
 
 

Navneet Kaur - First Sikh Women to score a goal at Olympic Games

by Diljit Bahra
30 July 2021

India's Navneet Kaur became the first Sikh Women to score a goal at Olympic Games when she scored in a field goal in the 57th minute against Ireland in Pool A of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on 30 July 2021. India won the match 1 - 0.

Navneet is one of three Sikh women in India's squad at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Gurjit Kaur and Navjot being the other two.

Navneet, 25, from Shahbad Markanda, has represented India since 2014 when she earned her first international cap when she played against Ireland in Dublin on 15 April 2014. She had earlier represented the U21 team from July 2013 to September 2015.

She represented India at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and the London 2018 World Cup.

The first Olympic goal by a Sikh man was scored by Gurmit Singh Kular at the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games when he scored against Japan on 4 August 1932. He scored three goals in that match and followed that with five goals against U.S.A. on 11 August 1932.