The defender was the vice-captain of the Indian men’s hockey team that won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.

Hockey India congratulated veteran defender Birendra Lakra, who on Thursday called time on his illustrious career with the Indian Men’s Hockey Team.

Birendra Lakra was the joint Vice-Captain of the Indian men’s hockey team that clinched the historic Bronze at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics 2020.

A product of SAIL Hockey Academy Rourkela, Birendra Lakra has represented India at the 2009 Youth Olympic Festival held in Sydney, the 2009 Junior World Cup, the 2010 SAAF Games in Dhaka and the 2011 Champions Challenge tournament in South Africa.

Having progressed through the ranks of the junior team set-up, Birendra Lakra made his debut for the senior national team in the 2010 South Asian Games and has been part of India’s various memorable moments such as the 2014 Asian Games glory, Bronze Medal feat in the World League Final 2015 in Raipur, Silver Medal-winning campaign at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 triumph as well.

In his long-serving career, the two-time Olympian has featured in almost all the major tournaments, including the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2014 and 2018 respectively. However, he missed out on the Rio Olympics 2016 due to a knee injury and made a strong comeback to the Indian set-up by playing a pivotal role in the team’s Gold Medal-winning feat at the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy.

Birendra Lakra, who stood tall in India’s defence line at the quadrennial Games, also achieved the milestone of completing 200 Senior International Caps for the National team.

Congratulating Birendra Lakra for his contribution to Indian hockey, Gyanendro Ningombam, Hockey India President said, “Birendra has for many years been an integral part of Indian Team’s defence and he has given fans across the globe some very memorable performances. Hockey India wishes him the very best in his future endeavours.”

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