Moritz Furste of Germany showed a great display of grit, determination and killer instinct in their crucial quarter-final game against New Zealand in the men’s hockey at the Olympics.
With 41 seconds to go, New Zealand was leading Germany 2-1, when Germany earned a penalty corner. It was an opportunity to equalise and prevent New Zealand from securing an epic victory.
Germany were seconds away from elimination when their sturdy, bearded penalty corner specialist Moritz Furste took position to take the hit. The camera closed on him, showing a face with a steely resolve, without any sign of nervousness.
The Kiwis closed in, forming a cordon to prevent the German from getting that coveted goal. They knew very well that allowing the Germans to score at that juncture would snatch their victory away.
The burly German took an icy look at the defence and hit the ball with immaculate accuracy. Even on slow motion replay the ball went like a bullet from his stick. The Kiwi defenders tried to thwart the ball away, frantically sweeping their sticks.
Fruste’s hit went like a rocket, past their extended sticks and the stretched legs of the Kiwi goalkeeper into the net. The Germans scored the equaliser. That was just 41 secons from the final whistle.
Germans had a curtailed celebration. Before the Kiwis could wipe off sweat from their foreheads, the Germans slithered their way to score one more field goal, as the hooter sounded signalling the end of the game and an improbable German win – a game they were on the verge of losing just 41 second ago.
The lessons from competitive sports at the highest level can be brutal as they are swift – if you relax and let your guard down, your opponent can pounce on you. Even you haven’t slacked, as in case of the Kiwis, a never say die attitude and relentless optimism can put you back in the game.
Moritz Furste and the Germans “Never, Never, ever give up” attitude was one I was fortunate to watch live yesterday. It was true a game changer, something worth emulating by one and all, if one ever aspires to succeed at the highest level.
The Kookaburras missed a medal and the semi-final round at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the first time they have missed the medal round since the 1980 boycott (2012 was eight in a row), a record better than all the other top-ten ranked nations in the world.