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Harmanpreet Singh targets World No. 1 spot for Indian hockey team

Harmanpreet Singh flanked by Varun Kumar and Sumit at the Tokyo Olympics 2021
Harmanpreet Singh flanked by Varun Kumar and Sumit at the Tokyo Olympics 2021
FEATURED WRITER

Indian men’s hockey team’s vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh is high on confidence after a solid display at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Harmanpreet Singh scored six goals at the Tokyo Olympics and emerged as India’s leading goal scorer.

His exploits on the turf helped India clinch a historic bronze medal at the quadrennial Games. His six-goal feat has also helped Harmanpreet Singh become the joint third highest goal scorer of the Tokyo Olympics.

With the Olympics done and dusted, the Indian men’s hockey team has set sights on upcoming tournaments. It involves doing well in the shortened Olympic cycle. Looking ahead to the 2024 Paris Olympics, Harmanpreet Singh, said:

"This bronze medal has not only changed our lives, but it has changed the way we think. It has brought this team immense confidence and we truly think that becoming World No.1 is a target we can achieve in this Olympic cycle.”

Elaborating on how he was overwhelmed while returning home with an Olympic hockey medal for India, Harmanpreet Singh said:

"The kind of reception we have received after returning home with the bronze medal has been simply incredible and I fall short of words to express how happy this feels. I am someone who doesn't express my emotions so much, but the love people have showered on us makes me feel very overwhelmed."

With a monkey off their back, the Indian men’s hockey team is looking forward to delivering more impressive performances in the 2022 hockey calendar.

“There are a number of important tournaments coming up in 2022 starting with FIH Hockey Pro League in February followed by Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the World Cup in 2023. With the Olympic cycle being shorter, it is going to be exciting and fast-paced. We are looking forward to regrouping in camp soon and resuming our preparations for the all-important 2022 calendar.”

Harmanpreet Singh nominated for FIH Award

There is always a reward for hard work and Harmanpreet Singh got himself nominated for the FIH Player of the Year award.

The Indian vice-captain is nominated alongside some of the elite hockey stars in the world such as Belgium's Arthur Van Doren and Alexander Hendrickx, Australia's Jake Whetton, Aran Zalewski and Tim Brand.

Also read: Gurjit Kaur hails a new era in Indian women’s hockey

Harmanpreet Singh said being nominated for the FIH Award is a huge honor.

"While I feel elated on being nominated for the FIH Men's Player of the Year Award along with some of the best players in world hockey, I feel this is an honour for the entire team."
"While the records say I have the highest number of goals for India, this wouldn't have been possible if not for my teammates who earned us penalty corners, the injectors and stoppers who perfected the act to ensure I was on target. It was totally the result of teamwork and I truly feel we are poised for bigger feats.”

Incidentally, Harmanpreet Singh was also nominated for the FIH Men's Rising Player of the Year award in 2017. It came on the back of his incredible success during India's victorious FIH Junior World Cup as well as FIH Champions Trophy in 2016 where India had won the silver medal.

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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