New Delhi, Dec 20: Indian men’s hockey team vice-captain Hardik Singh on Wednesday said the FIH Player of the Year award is a recognition of his “hard work and perseverance” that he has put in over the years to excel in the sport he loves. Hardik on Tuesday became the third male player from India to win the coveted award, joining Manpreet Singh (2019) and Harmanpreet Singh (2020-21 and 2021-22). Hockey India Announces 39-Member Core Group for Men’s National Camp; Craig Fulton Seeks ‘Fresh Perspective’ for Paris Olympic Games 2024 Preparation.

Besides Hardik, India women’s team skipper Savita Punia won the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award for the third consecutive time. “It’s an absolute honour to receive this esteemed award. I am immensely grateful to my teammates, coaches, and supporters who have been the pillars of my success. This recognition fuels my determination to continue giving my best to the sport I love,” Hardik said.

“The journey to this award has been filled with challenges and learning experiences. It’s a reminder that hard work, perseverance, and a supportive team can pave the way for remarkable achievements.”

Hardik made a successful comeback after he was ruled out midway into the 2023 World Cup jointly hosted by Bhubaneswar and Rourkela with a hamstring injury. Notably, this is Hardik’s second significant accolade this year as he had won the esteemed Hockey India Balbir Singh Sr Award for Player of the Year 2022 earlier this year. Indian Men’s Hockey Team Goes Down 2–7 Against Belgium in Five-Nations Tournament.

With 114 caps under his belt, 25-year-old Hardik played a vital role in India’s bronze medal-winning feat at the Tokyo Olympics, and gold medals in this year’s Asian Champions Trophy 2023 and the Asian Games.

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