PR Sreejesh, the goalkeeper for the Indian men's hockey team, has been nominated for the World Games Athlete of the Year award for 2021. The keeper from Kerala had an immense contribution in India's historic bronze medal win at the Tokyo Olympics, where the country won a medal after 40 years.
Their Individual and team performance, social commitment, or fair behavior are the attributes recognized by the 24 candidates from 17 nations in the ninth edition of the annual awards.
There will be an online voting procedure that will take place between January 10 to January 31 to determine the winner of the award.
The sole Indian nominated is PR Sreejesh, who was suggested by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). PR Sreejesh was selected goalie of the year in 2021 at the FIH Stars Awards in October.
On hearing about his nomination, Sreejesh said, “I think this nomination is quite special for it recognises great teamwork and this nomination is a result of our Olympic performance.”
The three-time Olympian added by saying, “I am so honoured to be nominated and this truly goes for the team. It's because of their hard work that we are being recognized world-over.”
PR Sreejesh, who was awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna last year, is now preparing at the SAI headquarters in Bengaluru for the national camp.
Rani Rampal, the captain of the Indian women's hockey team, became the first Indian to receive the World Games Athlete of the Year title in 2020 for her achievements in 2019.
For the first time, the Indian Hockey team finished at the 3rd rank in 2021 which is the best rank India has gotten in the FIH hockey ranking table. And we could say that the year was a very good year for the Indian men and women hockey team after they had quite a few FIH awards in the month of October.
The men’s and women’s player of the year awards were given to Harmanpreet Singh and Gurjit Kaur, respectively. The rising stars selected from India were Vivek Prasad and Sharmila Devi.