Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Manpreet Singh: My top five hockey moments with India

Manpreet Singh, the midfielder from Mithapur, Punjab, began playing hockey as a means to support his family and never imagined that he would become a crucial cog with India, let alone achieve 350 appearances for India. He reached the milestone when India took on Spain in their first match of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 this year.

2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo: India beat Germany 5-4 

It was an unbelievable feeling to win the Bronze medal at the Olympics; that had always been my dream since I started playing for the national team. I felt immensely proud when we finally clinched an Olympic medal in hockey after 41 years. It is a significant achievement and will always remain close to my heart.

Asian Games 2014: India beat Pakistan in shoot-out

That was my first major Gold Medal with the Indian Men’s Hockey Team, and winning it as a junior player ignited the fire in my belly. The feeling of winning the Gold is incomparable, and I have been chasing it ever since.

2014 Commonwealth Games: Australia beat India 4-0 in final

The previous major event was the XX Commonwealth Games 2014, where we won the Silver medal. I feel that these initial successful events boosted my confidence and propelled me further in my career. Winning two consecutive medals, especially as a junior in the team, was a really big thing for me at that moment

2017 Men’s Asia Cup 2017: India beat Malaysia by 2-1 in final

This tournament is also close to my heart because it was the first medal the team won with me as the Captain. It was a testament to all the work I had put in over the years. Sharing my experience with the youngsters and leading the team to victory instilled a deep sense of achievement and satisfaction in me.

Manpreet has scored 44 goals in his career so far, but he values his goal against Japan in the Final of the Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 at the top of the list. After Manpreet’s goal, India went on to win 5-1 over Japan, earning a direct qualification for the Paris Olympics.

“I remember, the Japanese keeper swatted away a shot on goal and the ball fell to me at the edge of the shooting circle, I took a touch to get it out of my feet and let loose a reverse tomahawk to beat the keeper. Before the Asian Games, I felt I wasn’t having the impact I knew I could but my performances kept improving and to score like that, in the Final, put my mind at ease,” Manpreet signed off.

Total Hockey

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