The Indian men’s hockey team recently won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Hockey India on Wednesday congratulated all the award winners of the FIH Hockey Stars Awards which was announced by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). The voting-based annual awards had six Indian players and two coaches from both the Indian teams (Men and Women) nominated for various categories. This is the first time that all nominees from India have won prestigious awards in their respective categories.
India’s dragflick sensation Harmanpreet Singh has been crowned the ‘FIH Player of the Year’ in the men’s category. He was the top scorer in India’s bronze medal-winning performance at the Tokyo Olympics. He was nominated for the award along with Belgium’s Arthur Van Doren and Alexander Hendrickx as well as Australia’s Jake Whetton, Tim Brand and Aran Zalewski.
Meanwhile, Indian women’s hockey team dragflicker Gurjit Kaur won the ‘FIH Player of The Year’ in the women’s category. She was nominated alongside Argentina’s Agustina Gorzelany and Agustina Albertarrio. The other nominees for this award also include Netherlands’ Eva De Goede, Frederique Matla and Maria Verschoor.
India’s famed goalkeeper PR Sreejesh won the ‘Goalkeeper of the Year’ in the men’s category. Sreejesh came up with a career-best performance at the Olympic Games 2020 and was the cynosure of Indian defence. The other nominees in this category were Belgium’s Vincent Vanasch and Australia’s Andrew Charter. Indian women’s team custodian Savita, on the other hand, won the ‘Goalkeeper of the Year’ in the women’s category.
Savita, who was also the joint-vice captain for the Indian women’s hockey team at the Olympic Games 2020, was outstanding in guarding India’s post and played an instrumental role in the team finishing fourth in the competition. The other nominees in this category were Great Britain’s Maddie Hinch and Argentina’s Belen Succi.
In the FIH Rising Star of the Year for men, Vivek Sagar Prasad won the award for the second consecutive time. He was nominated along with South Africa’s Mustaphaa Cassiem and Australia’s Sean Findlay. In the FIH Rising Star of the year for women, Sharmila Devi won the award with maximum votes ahead of Great Britain’s Fiona Crackles and Argentina’s Valentina Raposo.
Indian men’s hockey chief coach Graham Reid was awarded the FIH Coach of the Year. He was nominated along with Australia’s Colin Batch and Belgium’s Shane McLeod. Former Indian Women’s Hockey Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne too was awarded the ‘FIH Coach of the Year’ for women’s team category. He was nominated along with Great Britain’s Mark Hager and Netherlands’ Alyson Annan.
Congratulating the award winners, Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said, “This is a great moment for Indian hockey as all our Indian nominees for the FIH Stars Awards have been announced winners. After the historic performances in Tokyo by both Indian men and women’s teams, the support from Indian fans from across the globe has been overwhelming.”
“We thank everyone who supported the nominees by voting for them. This is a big moment for us and these awards will definitely inspire future generations to take up the sport professionally. On behalf of Hockey India, I congratulate all the award winners and wish them success in their future endeavours,” he concluded.