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Hockey India Announces 16-member Men’s squad for Tokyo Olympics

The Indian men's hockey team selected for the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: hockeyindia.org

Bengaluru, June 18 (MNN) Hockey India on Friday announced a 16-member men’s hockey team to represent the country at the Tokyo Olympics.

Continuing with their third stint, goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and midfielder Manpreet Singh will bring in critical experience to the team alongside other Olympic veterans Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar and Mandeep Singh.

As many as 10 Olympic debutants have gained a place in the squad, which is undergoing intense training and preparations at a national camp at the SAI Centre here.

After missing the 2016 Olympics due to a major knee injury, Birendra Lakra gets a befitting opportunity to again be a part of the squad for Tokyo 2020.

Additionally, joining the team are Amit Rohidas, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit and debutant forwards, Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay.

Chief Coach Graham Reid said: “It has not been an easy process to make the selection of final 16 players as there is a lot of quality and ambition in this group of players. The performance levels of all the athletes are at an optimum level and, more importantly, they work well together. They know what it means to represent the country at the Olympics. We are now focussed on training with the same intensity and our goal is to put forward our best performance as a collective unit in Tokyo.”

Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said: “The Indian men’s hockey team has a rich legacy of Olympic performances to follow. I feel this time, more than ever, the team is in a position to revisit its glory days to emerge as a top medal contender. The recent performance against Olympic Champions Argentina at the FIH Pro League shows they are headed in the right direction. I wish them all the best.”

The Indian men’s hockey team has won a whopping 11 Olympic medals till ow, which includes 8 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.

However, it has been 41 years since the Indian team last won an Olympic medal. Therefore, the current Indian men’s hockey team is very determined to change the course of history in Tokyo.

The current team has won the 2016 and 2018 Asian Champions Trophy, 2017 Asia Cup Gold and 2019 World Series as well over the last few years.

As a part of Olympics preparations, the men’s team travelled to Europe and Argentina as part of their preparations.

Having put up a good show against teams like Germany, Great Britain and reigning Olympic Champions Argentina on the tours, the World number 4 side is pumped up for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Indian team also got a chance to return to high-level competition like FIH Pro League, where they defeated Argentina in both the matches and set the tone for the Olympics.

The Indian men’s team are grouped in Pool A along with reigning Olympic Champions Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and hosts Japan.
The tournament takes place from July 23 to August 5 in Tokyo.

Selected Players:

Goal-keeper
P R Sreejesh

Defenders
Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra

Midfielders
Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit

Forwards
Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh

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