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Olympics: Hockey players from Punjab, Haryana get rousing welcome on returning home

By Pti

Chandigarh, Aug 11: Members of national men's and women's hockey team belonging to Punjab and Haryana on Wednesday returned to their home states to a rousing reception after their stupendous performances in the Tokyo Olympics.

The Punjab players in the bronze medal winning Indian men's hockey team led by Manpreet Singh and women player Gurjit Kaur paid obeisance at Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar on Wednesday.

Immediately after their arrival at Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport in Amritsar, the hockey players were accorded a warm welcome by the district administration. People gathered on the roads to welcome them while some did 'bhangra' and danced to the beats of 'dhol'.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the apex religious body of the Sikhs, had sent a bus which the players boarded to reach the Golden Temple where they paid obeisance. The players later headed to their respective homes at various places in Punjab, including Jalandhar.

At the Golden Temple complex, SGPC honoured the Indian men's team with Rs 1 crore for winning a bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics. The SGPG organised a special event in front of the Information Office and presented each of the players a 'siropa' (robe of honour).

Players from men's hockey team present included captain Manpreet Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinderpal Singh, Hardik Singh, Gurjant Singh, Varun Kumar, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh and Simranjeet Singh. SGPC President Jagir Kaur also specially honoured Gurjit Kaur and her family members, who also visited Golden Temple along with the men's team.

Jagir Kaur said Indian hockey team has created history by winning a bronze medal after 41 years. She also made a mention of the efforts being made by the SGPC for the promotion of sports.

Speaking on the occasion, Manpreet said, "When we won the bronze medal, the entire team had decided that first of all we would pay obeisance at Sachkhand Sri Harmandar Sahib and thank Guru Sahib. We consider ourselves fortunate to be here today. With this honour, we will be encouraged to perform even better."

In Jalandhar, Manpreet, Mandeep Singh and Varun Kumar again received a rousing welcome. After reaching Jalandhar's BSF Chowk, the three players were taken in a decorated open jeep with people and fans turning out in numbers and showering them with floral petals.

Earlier in the day, women hockey team captain Rani Rampal, Navjot Kaur and Navneet Kaur were accorded a grand welcome by the local residents and others when they reached their hometown Shahabad near Kurukshetra in Haryana. Sweets were distributed and people danced to the beats of 'dhol' when they arrived in Shahabad, which, like Jalanhar's Mithapur, is considered a hockey nursery.

Notably, while most of the men's team players hail from Punjab, most of the women players come from Haryana. Both Punjab and Haryana governments will be holding a grand felicitation function to honour the medal winning players and other Tokyo Olympians.

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Story first published: Wednesday, August 11, 2021, 18:02 [IST]
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