Odia Hockey Star Amit Rohidas Named in Indian Squad for Paris 2024 Olympics

Amit Rohidas, a prominent defender from Odisha, has been named in the 16-member Indian men’s hockey team set to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympics, beginning on July 26. This selection highlights his continued excellence and significant role in Indian hockey.

Key Achievements: Rohidas has been a vital part of the Indian hockey team’s success on the international stage. He was instrumental in the team’s historic bronze medal win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, ending a 41-year Olympic medal drought for India in hockey. He also played a crucial role in securing the gold medal at the 2022 Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China.

Team Leadership and Composition: The Indian squad, announced by Hockey India, features a blend of experienced players and newcomers. The team will be led by seasoned drag-flicker and defender Harmanpreet Singh, while the dynamic midfielder Hardik Singh will serve as the vice-captain. This team comprises five Olympic debutants, indicating a strategic mix of youth and experience aimed at achieving top performance in Paris.

Defensive Line: Alongside Rohidas, the defensive lineup includes Harmanpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Sumit, and Sanjay, all known for their solid defensive skills and strategic gameplay.

Midfielders: The midfield will see contributions from Raj Kumar Pal, Shamsher Singh, Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, and Vivek Sagar Prasad. This unit is expected to bring both stability and creativity to the team’s midfield play.

Forward Line: The forward line boasts formidable players such as Abhishek, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, and Gurjant Singh, who are known for their attacking prowess and goal-scoring abilities.

Goalkeepers and Alternates: Veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and young talent Krishan Bahadur Pathak are the key goalkeepers, with Sreejesh making his fourth Olympic appearance. Alternate athletes include Nilakanta Sharma (midfielder) and Jugraj Singh (defender), ensuring robust backup options for the team.

Amit Rohidas’ Journey: Born on May 10, 1993, in the Saunamara village of Sundergarh district, Odisha, Rohidas started playing hockey in his hometown and later joined the Panposh Sports Hostel in Rourkela in 2004. His journey from a small village to the international stage is a testament to his dedication and talent. Selected for the national junior team in 2009, Rohidas made his senior team debut at the 2013 Asia Cup in Ipoh, where India won a silver medal. He made a notable comeback to the national side in 2017 and has since been a key player in many of India’s successes.

Historical Context and Significance: Rohidas is not only the tenth international player but also the sixth men’s hockey player from Odisha to participate in the Olympics. He holds the distinction of being the first non-tribal hockey Olympian from Odisha, breaking new ground and setting a precedent for future athletes from the region.

Team’s Prospects for Paris 2024: As the Indian squad prepares for the Paris Olympics, the selection of experienced players like Rohidas, alongside promising new talents, positions the team well for a strong performance. The team’s balanced composition and strategic leadership underline its ambition to replicate or surpass the success achieved at the Tokyo Olympics.

Amit Rohidas’ inclusion in the Olympic squad underscores his continued importance to Indian hockey, reflecting his exceptional skills and significant contributions to the sport. His journey from a small village to representing India at the highest level of international hockey serves as an inspiration to many aspiring athletes across the country.

(With inputs from agencies)

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