Amid beats of drums, conventional tribal dance and cheers, 4 hockey gamers from Odisha, who have been a part of the Indian hockey groups on the Tokyo Olympics, got a rousing welcome of their house district of Sundergarh. The 4 hockey gamers — Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka and Sunita Toppo — returned to their native villages in Sundergarh district on Saturday, after their stupendous efficiency on the Tokyo Video games. Rohidas and Lakra represented the lads’s group, whereas Ekka and Toppo have been a part of the ladies’s group.
After 41 years, India gained a medal in hockey on the Olympics after the lads’s group clinched the bronze in Tokyo on August 5, defeating Germany 5-Four in an exciting play-off encounter.
Whereas the ladies’s hockey group’s dream of securing a maiden Olympic medal remained unfulfilled after they misplaced 3-Four towards Nice Britain within the bronze medal play-off match, it was their finest ever efficiency on the Olympic Video games to date.
Accompanied by former India hockey captain Dilip Tirkey, the gamers reached the Veer Surendra Sai Airport in Jharsuguda round midday on Saturday.
The officers of Sundergarh district and the state sports activities division welcomed them on the airport and took them to Sundargarh, a distance of 22 km, on a particular carcade.
A procession was taken out within the district city from the Parijat Park to the Circuit Home. A number of automobiles and two-wheelers embellished with flowers and Indian tricolour have been a part of the procession.
A lot of individuals got here out on the streets to welcome the gamers with nice enthusiasm. The gamers have been felicitated at completely different squares alongside the route.
Later, the district administration felicitated the hockey stars on the Bikash Bhawan in Sundergarh.
“I’m feeling very glad. A lot of individuals have come to welcome us. My household has additionally come to obtain me. I can not specific my emotions in phrases,” mentioned Rohidas, including that the junior hockey gamers can be impressed by this gesture.
Deep Grace Ekka additionally expressed her happiness on receiving such a grand welcome in her house district.
“We began enjoying hockey right here and in the present day such a big crowd got here to welcome us. It’s a very particular second for all of us,” she mentioned.
As per its earlier announcement, the state authorities has given a money award of Rs 2.5 crore together with DSP-rank posting to Lakra and Rohidas. Ekka and Toppo got Rs 50 lakh every.
On August 17, the Odisha authorities had felicitated each the lads’s and ladies’s hockey groups in Bhubaneswar at a particular programme within the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The Odisha authorities has been the sponsoring each the lads’s and ladies’s hockey groups since 2018. On August 17, Patnaik introduced to increase the sponsorship deal for an additional 10 years.