Friday, April 16, 2021

Manpreet, Rani win Hockey India player of the year awards

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Manpreet, Rani win Hockey India player of the year awards
India men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh is confident of his side putting up a good show and ending the country’s 40-year-old medal drought at the Olympics this time round in Tokyo.

Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal won the Dhruv Batra Player of the Year Award 2019 in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively, at the third Hockey India Annual Awards here on Sunday.

Manpreet and Rani got a cash award of Rs 25 lakh each, besides trophies, as the achievements of the current and former Indian hockey players were celebrated.

The Hockey India Annual Awards carried a total prize purse of Rs 1.64 crore.

Opening the Awards ceremony, Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said: “Hockey India has one clear mission, to provide the best infrastructure and environment to ensure our athletes prosper and reach their full potential.

“We have, over the years, worked tirelessly to achieve this, and the proof of success lies in our players and their stellar performances. I am happy to say our national teams have had a great 2019 which saw them achieve success against some of the best teams from across the world, and also saw them qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

“I would like to congratulate all the players, coaches and support staff present here today for their vision, passion, and the sheer hardwork they put in every day.”

Harbinder Singh won the Hockey India Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award 2019. He received a cash prize of Rs 30 lakh and a trophy.

Manpreet became the first Indian to win the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Player of the Year award last month, while Rani became the first-ever player to win the ‘World Games Athlete of the Year’ prize in January.

The first set of awards marking important milestone in the careers of players began the proceedings.

The Milestone Awards were presented to Deep Grace Ekka, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam and Savita for completing 200 International Caps for India, with a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each plus a trophy.

Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Nikki Pradhan were awarded for turning out in Team India colours for the 100th time and were all presented with a cheque of Rs 50,000 each and a trophy.

Indian Men’s Hockey Team Captain Manpreet Singh was given a cash award of Rs 10 lakhs for winning the FIH Men’s Player of the Year 2019, while youngsters Vivek Sagar Prasad and Lalremsiami received a cash award of Rs 5 lakhs for winning the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2019 Awards in the Men’s and Women’s categories, respectively.

Rani was also awarded with a cash prize of Rs 10 lakhs for winning the prestigious World Games Athlete of the Year 2019.

“I’m really honoured to have won the Hockey India Dhruv Batra Player of the Year 2019 (Men). It was a great year for our team, and I would like to dedicate this award to my teammates and coaches, without whom, I would not be holding this trophy. I would also like to thank Hockey India for their continued support, and I hope this Award will motivate, not only myself, but more players to give their best for the country and bring more laurels,” said Manpreet.

“I am elated to have been awarded with the Hockey India Dhruv Batra Player of the Year 2019 (Women). I have always strived to work hard for my team and my country, and to have been recognised for doing the thing that I love doing the most, it gives me immense happiness. I would like to thank my teammates, coaches, family and Hockey India for always being a huge supporter, and being the guiding light. I dedicate this award to my team,” said Rani.

Baljit Singh Award for Goalkeeper of the Year 2019 went to Krishan B. Pathak, while Harmanpreet won the Defender of the Year recognition.

The Ajit Pal Singh Award for Midfielder of the Year was bagged by Neha Goyal, while Dhanraj Pillay Award for Forward of the Year went to Mandeep Singh. Each of the above individual awards carried a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh besides a glittering trophy.

Young Lalremsiami won the Asunta Lakra Award for Upcoming Player of the Year 2019 (Women, Under-21), while Jugraj Singh Award for Upcoming Player of the Year 2019 (Men, Under-21) was presented to Vivek Sagar Prasad.

FIH President Narinder Batra said that as head of the international federation, he is happy to see the progress of the Indian teams.

“I would like to congratulate Hockey India for their efforts of raising the bar for Indian hockey to highest standards. Hockey has always been a very important part of India’s sporting history. I am delighted to see that the game still has a high following in our country,” he said.


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