Sardar Singh: 10 things to know about India's hockey superstar looking to make his mark at Rio
The Indian hockey team will be hoping to capture their first medal at the Olympic Games since their gold medal win at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. And leading the charge for the Blueshirts will be Sardar Singh, the captain of the team and the mainstay in midfield.
The fate of the sport in the country has taken a nose dive in recent decades. This was epitomised by the team’s failures in the sport in the last two games. While India failed to make it to Athens in 2088, they came last in the previous Olympics in Beijing. However, the Indian team’s fortunes in recent times has taken a swing in the right direction under the tutelage of Dutchman Ronald Oltmans.
India recently won the silver at the Champions Trophy, which bodes well for the Blueshirts going into Rio. Sardar Singh will be the key for Oltmans’ men to bring glory back to India and bring an end to a 36-year Olympic medal drought in the sport. Here are 10 things you should know about India’s skipper.
1. Sardar Singh was born on 15 July, 1986 in Rania, Haryana.
2. He plays in the centre-half position and is the current captain of the Indian National hockey team.
3. Sardar became the youngest player to captain the Indian team when he led the side at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the age of 22.
4. In 2015, the Haryanvi was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award by the Government of India.
5. A Deputy Superintendent Police Officer with the Haryana Police, he also represents their team.
6. He was the highest-paid marquee player at the inaugural Hockey India League auctions as Delhi bought him for 42.49 lakh rupees. He was adjudged the Player of the Tournament.
7. Having scored 15 goals in 243 matches for India, and is the team’s biggest playmaker.
8. He was adjudged the Player of the Tournament in the 2012 Summer Olympics Qualifiers, where India won the Gold.
9. The 29-year-old was awarded the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award twice, in the 2010 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup where India won the Gold and 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup where India finished third to win the Bronze.
10. A born leader, Sardar was also the captain of the Indian team that came second to win the silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.