‘Las Leoncitas’ wrote a new, golden page in the history of Argentine women's field hockey on Sunday. At home in Buenos Aires and in an atmosphere of total excitement, the local team got the Olympic gold – the first time that Argentina’s women’s team reached the top of either a junior or senior Olympic podium.
In the final match on Sunday, Argentina beat India 3-1 with goals by Gianella Palet, Sofia Ramallo and Brisa Bruggesser. Mumtaz Khan scored the sole goal for India.
The Argentine junior team finally checked off all the boxes and made their ultimate dream come true at Buenos Aires 2018. In the first summer edition of the Youth Olympic Games, Singapore 2010, the girls won the silver, and at Nanjing 2014 they got the bronze.
From the start of Buenos Aires 2018, ‘Las Leoncitas’ made it clear that they were going for absolute glory and capitalising on the home advantage. The stands exploded with support from the fans as the team progressed through the tournament with top-level performances.
In the end, Argentina won the gold, while India took silver and China got bronze.
Hanging from the stands where the fans were, extending their hands to salute their supporters, jumping up and down, crying and screaming: that is how the women’s team celebrated the victory for which they had been preparing for four years with highly demanding training.
After the end of Sunday’s match, the players put their arms around each other to sing the national anthem on the podium and get their group picture taken - this one with medals around their necks.
They stayed on the field long after the victory ceremony had finished in a massive celebration for a high-profile discipline in Argentina. Their moment of glory was followed not only by those in the stands, but also those watching the giant screens at the Youth Olympic Park.
Earlier on Sunday, the Argentine men’s team (Los Leoncitos) took the bronze in their first appearance at a Youth Olympic Games, after a 4-0 victory against Zambia. The podium was completed by gold medallists from Malaysia, and silver medallists from India.