Moscow, Delhi, Bangkok, Santiago, Tokyo - Indian hockey's rollercoaster 41-year ride

'I asked them to picture the bronze medal around their neck' (2:46)

Indian men's team coach Graham Reid talks about their 'team first' mentality (2:46)

India have won their 12th medal in men's hockey, defeating Germany 5-4 in the bronze medal match in Tokyo. It's their first medal in 41 years, and perhaps the celebrations might seem a little out of sync for a bronze earned by a nation with eight gold medals.

But why is this such a big deal? You have to wind the clock back to 1980, and what has come since, to gauge that.

July 1980: India win gold at Moscow 1980, beating Spain 4-3 in the final.

January 1982: India are hosting the World Cup for the first time in Bombay. The champions of 1975 still have the core of the Moscow side together, and they are hoping to catch up with arch-rivals Pakistan on two World Cup wins. However, they lose to Australia in the group stages and fail to make the knockouts.

December 1982: New Delhi is abuzz as India and Pakistan face off in the Asian Games final. A chance for India to regain the Asian gold for the first time in 16 years. India go down 7-1, with goalkeeper Mir Ranjan Negi the subject of criticism for his performance.

August 1996: India fail to make the Olympics knockouts for the fourth successive Olympics, and then fall to eighth in classification. This is their worst finish ever. Later that year, Madras hosts the Champions Trophy, where India haven't medaled since 1982. They fall 5-0 to Germany in the match for third place.

December 1998: India win their first Asian Games gold in 32 years in Bangkok, beating South Korea 4-2 on penalties after the match finishes 1-1 after extra time. Goalkeeper Ashish Ballal saves two penalty strokes. Mysteriously, six players in the winning team are 'rested' when India play next, including Ballal.

September 2000: India are on the verge of making the semi-finals of the Olympics for the first time in 28 years. They lead Poland 1-0 but Tomasz Cichy scores in the last moments and the match is drawn. Korea, who beat India 2-0, go through instead of India, even though both have identical stats, right down to goals for and against.

October 2001: India win the Junior World Cup in Hobart, beating Argentina 6-1 in the final. A new generation of stars - Devesh Chauhan, Viren Rasquinha, Jugraj Singh, Deepak Thakur, Gagan Ajit Singh, Prabhjot Singh -- catch the eye and soon become India regulars.

February 2005: The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) initiates the Premier Hockey League (PHL).

December 2006: India fail to finish on the podium of the Asian Games for the first time. Paired with Korea, China, Bangladesh and Oman, they fail to win more than two matches. The worst is yet to come...

March 2008: India have to play an Olympic Qualifier event in Santiago, Chile. They score 39 goals and concede just eight in the group stages, losing a 3-2 thriller to Great Britain. Both teams finish on top and meet in the final again, and this time India lose 0-2. India won't be a part of the Olympics for the first time.

October 2010: The Commonwealth Games in Delhi and India are in the final, having only lost to Australia in the group stages. India hold on for 18 minutes and then it all goes horribly wrong. Australia win 8-0.

July 2011: The IHF, which had stood dissolved in 2008, and the newly formed Hockey India (HI) decide to put litigation aside and work together for hockey. However, a year later the old faction initiates World Series Hockey (WSH). There's a new rift between the two, as HI starts the Hockey India League (HIL) in 2013.

August 2012: The London Olympics provides the lowest point on the field of play. India are obliterated -- they lose all their pool games, including to New Zealand and Korea. Then they lose their match for 11th place to South Africa.

October 2014: India regain the Asian Games gold after 16 years via shootout, with PR Sreejesh the star. They beat defending champions Pakistan, and book their berth at the Olympics.

December 2015: India earn bronze at the second edition of the World League Final, effectively their first medal at an FIH event since the Champions Trophy bronze of 1982. They beat Netherlands via shootout in Raipur.

June 2016: India make the Champions Trophy final for the first time, but lose on shootout to Australia.

August 2016: India make the knockout rounds of the Olympics for the first time since 1980 but are beaten by Belgium. Argentina, whom India had beaten in the group stages, go on to win gold.

December 2016: India beat Belgium to win their second Junior World Cup title. It is a home triumph, with coach Harendra Singh's batch providing a big chunk of the Tokyo squad.

2018: India fail to make the podium of the Commonwealth Games after two successive silver medals, losing to New Zealand in the semifinal. They do marginally better at the Asian Games, beating Pakistan 2-1 to the bronze medal. In between they make another Champions Trophy final in Breda, and again lose to Australia on shootout.

December 2018: India lose in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Bhubaneswar against Netherlands. Harendra Singh, who had himself been brought on board after having worked with the women's team at the expense of former (and current) women's coach Sjoerd Marijne, is let go of.

November 2019: Under new coach Graham Reid, India make the Olympics with an easy two-leg win against Russia in Bhubaneswar.

March 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic and the global lockdown strikes at the worst possible time, as India, playing in the Pro League for the first time, register home wins against Netherlands, Belgium and Australia to start their campaign. Their only other matches are away to reigning Olympic champions Argentina, whom they beat on penalties and 3-0 on successive days in April 2021.

August 2021: After an iffy start to their Olympics campaign, India win four in a row, including their quarterfinal against Great Britain. They lose 5-2 to Belgium in the semifinal, but two days later they win their first Olympic medal in 41 years.