Hockey India on Friday announced the men’s hockey squad for the Tokyo Olympics.
The 16-member squad has as many as 10 Olympic debutants, which also features seasoned performers like PR Sreejesh and Manpreet Singh, for the Tokyo Games next month.
The experienced Olympic campaigners include goalkeeper Sreejesh, midfielder Manpreet, defenders Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh and Surender Kumar and forward Mandeep Singh.
Veteran defender Birendra Lakra , who missed the 2016 Rio Games due to a knee injury, has also been named in the side.
Speaking on the team selection, Chief Coach Graham Reid said, “It has not been an easy process to make the final selection of 16 players as there is a lot of quality and ambition in this group of players. The performance levels of all the athletes are at an optimum level and more importantly they work well together. They know what it means to represent the country at the Olympics. We are now focussed on training with the same intensity and our goal is to put forward our best performance as a collective unit in Tokyo.”
Meanwhile, congratulating the selected squad, Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said, “The Indian Men’s Hockey Team has a rich legacy of Olympic performances to follow, and I feel this time, more than ever the team is in a position to revisit its glory days to emerge as a top medal contender. The recent performance against Olympic Champions Argentina at the FIH Pro League shows they are headed in the right direction. I wish them all the best.”
The men’s team, who will be aiming to win its first gold medal since the 1980 Moscow Olympics is grouped in Pool A along with reigning Olympic champion Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and host Japan.
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra
Midfielders: Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit
Forwards: Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh.
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