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Birendra Lakra announces retirement from hockey

A file photo India's Birendra Lakra (right) in action.
A file photo India's Birendra Lakra (right) in action.
Hari Kishore M

Indian men’s hockey team’s defender Birendra Lakra has announced his retirement from hockey. He followed his teammate Rupinderpal Singh and 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 won a bronze medal at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics. The veteran defender took to social media to announce his retirement.

A product of SAIL Hockey Academy Rourkela, Birendra Lakra has represented India at multiple international events. The notable ones are 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.

Birendra Lakra rose through the ranks

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. He has been part of India's various memorable moments, including the 2014 Asian Games glory, bronze medal feat in the World League Final 2015 in Raipur, the silver medal-winning campaign at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 triumph.

Also Read: Rupinderpal Singh announces retirement from hockey

In his long-serving career, the two-time Olympian has featured in almost all major tournaments. The list includes 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. He 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 defense line at the Tokyo Olympics, also achieved the milestone of completing 200 senior international caps for the Indian national team.

Lauding Birendra Lakra for his contribution to Indian hockey, Gyanendro Ningombam, Hockey India President said:

“Birendra Lakra has for many years been an integral part of Indian team’s defense and he has given fans across the globe some very memorable performances. Hockey India wishes him the very best in his future endeavours.”

Also Read: Junior Hockey World Cup: Bhubaneshwar to host marquee event from November 24


Edited by Diptanil Roy

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