Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s Sports and Youth Services Minister, Tusharkanti Behera, honoured the hockey stars from Odisha for their outstanding performance at the Men’s Junior Asia Cup in Oman. India emerged as the champions for a record fifth time, and Behera felicitated the local heroes, Amandeep Lakra, Sudeep Chirmako, and Sunit Lakra, presenting them with a cash award of Rs. 2 lakh each. These talented players from the Sports Hostel Rourkela (Panposh) have brought immense pride to the nation and serve as an inspiration for aspiring hockey players across the country.
The Indian team had an unbeaten campaign and secured a 2-1 victory against Pakistan in the final. Sudeep Chirmako, Amandeep Lakra, and Sunit Lakra, from Odisha, showcased their skills in all six games of India’s journey, with Amandeep and Sunit impressing with two goals each. Minister Behera expressed his delight at the triumph and congratulated the young hockey players, wishing them success in their future endeavours and assuring them of Odisha’s continuous support.
Amandeep Lakra, one of the honoured players, expressed his gratitude for the recognition and emphasized the team’s commitment to bringing further glory to India and Odisha. This historic achievement not only showcases the exceptional abilities of the Indian team ahead of the Men’s Junior World Cup but also highlights Odisha’s significant contribution to the Indian hockey ecosystem.
The gold medal victory at the Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 serves as a testament to the talent and dedication of these young athletes. Their remarkable performance paves the way for the upcoming Men’s Junior World Cup, and Odisha remains a crucial pillar in supporting and nurturing hockey in India.