Bhubaneswar: Amit Rohidas and Birendra Lakra, members of the Indian team who won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics returned to the city Tuesday amid a rousing welcome at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA). They were accompanied by members of the Indian women’s team Deep Grace Ekka and Namita Toppo. The women’s team narrowly missed out on the bronze losing 3-4 to Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics
There were a large number of fans to greet the players at the BPIA. Also present at the BPIA were Odisha Sports Minister Tushar Kanti Behera and Sports Secretary Vineel Krishna. The players were welcomed with floral bouquets and also garlanded. There was a beeline among the fans to take selfies with the players especially Rohidas and Lakra.
It is after 41 years that the men’s hockey team managed to achieve a podium finish. Hence both Rohidas and Lakra are the first recipients of the Olympic medals in the 21st century. In fact, if one leaves aside Michael Kindo, then the two are the first Odia sportspersons to have an Olympic medal in their kitty. It is no doubt a very commendable feat.