On Tuesday, midfielder Manprit Singh was appointed captain of the 16-member Indian Olympic hockey team, while experienced defenders Birendra Lakra and Harmanpret Singh were appointed vice-captains.
This will be Manpreet’s third Olympics.
Under the captaincy of Manpreet, the Indian team won the Asian Cup in 2017, the Asian Champions Trophy in 2018 and the FIH Series Final in 2019.
The team led by Manpreet also qualified for the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIH Men’s World Cup in Bubaneswar.
Lacra, on the other hand, is a veteran defender who was part of the London 2012 Olympics but missed the Rio Games in 2016 due to knee surgery.
Harmanpreet, after his debut in India in 2015, is growing in his role as a slider and defender. In the absence of Manpreet in 2019, Harmanpreet led the Indian team to victory at the FIH Olympic Test event in Tokyo.
Head coach Graham Reed said, “All three players have been an integral part of the team’s leadership over the past few years and have shown great maturity in guiding youngsters during these challenging times. The appointment of two deputy captains we believe has also strengthened our leadership in what will be a demanding tournament. We are confident that together they will guide the team to success. “
Manpreet said, “This Olympics will be really special and I am humbled to have the opportunity to represent India at the Olympics for the third time, this time as team captain. It is a very proud moment for me to receive this charge. In the last few years we have developed a strong leadership group and successfully overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic, keep fit and keep our minds and fitness focused on doing well at the Olympics. “
Lacra said: “The appointment of a Deputy Captain along with Harmanpreet Singh is a source of pride for me and in recent years in India we have seen players show great mental toughness during their training despite these difficult times. We hope to just do the hard work. and sacrifices are counted, earning great. “
India will start their campaign in Tokyo on July 24, when they face New Zealand in their first match of the pool.