Bengaluru, June 18: India on Friday (June 18) named 10 debutants in its 16-member men's hockey squad for the Tokyo Olympics. The squad also contains some seasoned performers like PR Sreejesh and Manpreet Singh.
The experienced Olympic campaigners include goalkeeper Sreejesh, midfielder Manpreet, defenders Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh and Surender Kumar and forward Mandeep Singh.
Veteran defender Birendra Lakra , who missed the 2016 Rio Games due to a knee injury, has also been named in the side.
Speaking on the team selection, chief coach Graham Reid said, "It has not been an easy process to make the final selection of 16 players as there is a lot of quality and ambition in this group of players. The performance levels of all the athletes are at an optimum level and more importantly they work well together.
They know what it means to represent the country at the Olympics. We are now focussed on training with the same intensity and our goal is to put forward our best performance as a collective unit in Tokyo," he added.
Additionally, joining the team are Amit Rohidas, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit and debutant forwards, Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay.
Congratulating the selected squad, Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said, "The Indian men's hockey team has a rich legacy of Olympic performances to follow, and I feel this time, more than ever the team is in a position to revisit its glory days to emerge as a top medal contender.
"The recent performance against Olympic champions Argentina at the FIH Pro League shows they are headed in the right direction. I wish them all the best," he added.
Indian hockey team has won 11 Olympic Medals which includes 8 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals. However, it has been 41 years since the Indian team last won an Olympic medal and therefore the current Indian team is determined to change the course of history in Tokyo.
The current team has won the 2016 and 2018 Asian Champions Trophy, 2017 Asia Cup Gold and 2019 World Series as well over the last few years.
The Sqaud: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh; Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra; Midfielders: Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit; Forwards: Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh.