Bangalore: Two Odiya players found a place in the Indian hockey team’s men’s squad for the Tokyo Olympics that was announced Friday. They are Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas. It will be the first Olympics for both the Odia hockey players. Birendra had missed the Rio Olympics in 2016 due to a knee injury.
There are 10 players in the 16-member squad who will make their debut in the Olympics. The team also have seasoned campaigners like goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, midfielder Manpreet Singh, defenders Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh and Surender Kumar and forward Mandeep Singh.
It will indeed be a great experience for both Birendra and Amit who have been performing consistently in the last 3-4 years. Both have been regular members of the Indian team that are taking part in the FIH World Hockey Championships. Along with their defensive abilities, the two are equally good at converting penalty corners.
However, it is indeed strange that India have kept only one goalkeeper in the squad for the Olympics. Sources close to Hockey India (HI) however, said Friday that the reserve list of players will be announced a few days later.
(Goalkeeper): 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 and Mandeep Singh.