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Olympic countdown: Manpreet Singh, the backbone of the Indian team

Though the World Cup is a little later, in January 2023, Manpreet Singh would be hoping to at least chase the Olympic medal in Japan.

Published: 12th July 2021 07:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2021 07:30 PM   |  A+A-

Indian men's hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh

Indian men's hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh (Photo | PTI)

By IANS

MUMBAI: Manpreet Singh has had a successful stint as Indian skipper in the last few years, helping the team win the Asia Cup 2017, Asian Champions Trophy in 2018, FIH Series Final in 2019, and reaching the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar.

The Jalandhar-born 29-year-old halfback was also part of the team that won the Asian Games gold medal in 2014 at Incheon and bronze at the Jakarta Asian Games four years later; two silver medals in the Champions Trophy and a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The big wins missing from his collection are the FIH Hockey World Cup and the Olympics.

Though the World Cup is a little later, in January 2023, Manpreet would be hoping to at least chase the Olympic medal in Japan.

Captain of the men's team for the Tokyo Olympics, Manpreet will be participating in his third Olympics and hoping that it brings luck to his team.

Born on June 26, 1992, in a family of farmers in Mithapur near Jalandhar, Manpreet, who lists former Indian captain and defender Pargat Singh as his idol, says he is lucky to be playing hockey.

His family was against him taking up hockey and one day his mother locked Manpreet, then 10, in a room to prevent him from playing the game. Persuaded by his childhood coach, Manpreet not only got to play hockey, but his family became his biggest supporter and fan.

So much so that when Manpreet lost his father in 2016, he rushed back from the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia but was persuaded by his mother to return to action as soon as possible.

The hallmark of Manpreet's game is his cool demeanour under pressure. He will need to show that qualify in ample measure at the Olympics.

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