The Tokyo Olympics were the first Olympics to be held on Asian ground. The team went on a two-and-a-half month tour to New Zealand and Malaysia before heading to Tokyo. In the pool matches, India finished at the top with 12 points. India beat Belgium 2-0, was held to a draw by Germany and Spain, beat Hong Kong 6-0, Malaysia 3-1, Canada 3-0 and Holland 2-1. In the semi-final, India beat Australia 3-1 to set up their third consecutive clash with Pakistan in the Olympic finals. Pakistan had defeated India 1- 0 in the 1960 Rome Olympics, to end India`s Consecutive Olympic victory series.

The final was played on November 23, 1964, at the Kamazawa Park in Tokyo. The first half was played at a scorching pace but no goal was scored. There was an unruly incident with some of the Pakistanis attacking the Indian players. The match was briefly interrupted for the tempers to cool down. The forward line comprising Harbinder Singh and Joginder Singh was irresistible that day. 5 minutes into the second half, a penalty corner was awarded to India which was taken by India`s `Rock of Gibralter` Prithipal Singh.

Prithipal had been fantastic in the Tokyo Olympics thus far, and had scored 11 goals. However, this penalty corner was to be his most important. His stinging shot was deflected off the goalkeeper`s pad and stopped by Pakistan`s full back Munir Dar with his foot. Centre-half Mohinder Lal converted the resultant penalty stroke in the 41st minute to give India a 1-0 lead.

IHF President Ashwini Kumar did the running commentary for Akashvani in the final at Tokyo. Each move forward by India was a potential goal in his eyes. And when Mohinder Lal converted the penalty stroke, a hysterical Ashwini Kumar cried himself hoarse. Pakistan fought back ferociously in the closing stages of the match and gave India many anxious moments. Shankar Lakshman, the Indian goal Keeper, played superbly and magnificently saved two penalty corner hits. India held on to its slender lead to win its seventh gold medal in eight Olympic games. Shankar Lakshman, one of India`s best ever goalkeepers, was declared the Man of the Match.