Lausanne: Nationwide males’s crew captain Manpreet Singh on Thursday grew to become the primary Indian to win the Worldwide Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Participant of the Yr award, capping a memorable 2019 season during which he led the facet to Olympic qualification.
The 27-year-old midfielder, thus, grew to become the primary from the nation to win the accolade because the awards have been launched in 1999.
He beat competitors from Belgium’s Arthur van Dorren and Lucas Villa of Argentina, who got here second and third respectively.
Manpreet polled a complete of 35.2 per cent of mixed votes, which incorporates Nationwide Associations, media, followers and gamers.
Van Dorren, then again, obtained mixed vote share of 19.7 per cent whereas Villa polled 16.5 per cent in his favour.
Different gamers who have been nominated for the award have been Victor Wegnez of Belgium and Australian duo of Aran Zalewski and Eddie Ockenden.
Manpreet, who had represented India at 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics, has loved an extended profession within the nationwide crew since he made his debut in 2011. He now has 260 worldwide appearances below his belt.
Final 12 months, Manpreet led India to victory within the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, securing their Tokyo Olympics spot.
Speaking in regards to the final season, Manpreet stated: “In case you have a look at our 12 months, we did effectively in each event we participated in. Be it the FIH Sequence Finals in June or the take a look at sequence in Belgium the place we performed the hosts in addition to Spain and beat them.
“Our largest aim in 2019 was to guide our berth on the Olympics.”
India achieved that aim in type, beating Russia within the Olympic Qualifiers over two legs — 4-2 and 7-2.
Manpreet devoted the award to his teammates, saying with out their assist it wouldn’t have been doable.
“I am truly honoured to win this award and I would like to dedicate this to my team. I also thank my well-wishers and hockey fans from around the world for voting in my favour. It is truly humbling to see so much support for Indian hockey,” he stated.
FIH CEO Thierry Weil congratulated all of the winners, together with Manpreet on their achievements.
“On behalf of FIH, I want to prolong heartfelt congratulations from the entire hockey neighborhood to all winners of the 2019 FIH Stars Awards and likewise to all nominees.
“Due to their expertise and performances, in addition to their teammates, they invite followers everywhere in the world to expertise nice feelings. We’re very grateful to them,” he stated.
Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad additionally congratulated Manpreet.
“He has matured over the years as a player and has proved his importance in the team. He has led India to important victories,” he stated.
Apart from Manpreet, younger midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad gained the FIH Male Rising Star of the Yr award, whereas striker Lalremsiami bagged the 2019 FIH Ladies’s Rising Star of Yr recognition.