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Hockey Midfielder Manpreet Ready for Fourth Olympics

(MENAFN-IANS) New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Indian hockey team’s veteran midfielder Manpreet Singh is excited to represent his country at the fourth Olympics in Paris. It is a remarkable feat that will put him side by side with the legendary Dhanraj Pillay.

Manpreet, who is preparing to play in his fourth Olympics, expressed his excitement and pride by saying, “Playing in my fourth Olympics is a dream come true and a milestone that fills me with immense pride. It is a testament to the years of hard work, dedication and unwavering support of my family, coaches and teammates. It is an honour beyond words to follow in the footsteps of a legend like Dhanraj Pillay, who has been an inspiration to countless players including myself.”

“I am excited to give my all for India in Paris, representing not just the team but also the hopes and dreams of millions of fans back home. Our team is ready to show the world the spirit and power of Indian hockey. We have prepared hard and are determined to perform at our best, bringing honour to our country and making our countrymen proud,” he added.

Manpreet made his debut for the senior team in 2011. Since then, the dynamic midfielder has made an impressive 370 appearances, scoring 27 goals to showcase his skill and consistency on the pitch. His journey with the national team includes participation in three previous Olympic Games: the 2012 London Olympics, the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he captained the team to a historic Bronze medal, India’s first Olympic hockey medal in 41 years.

Also speaking about the team’s mindset and expectations for the Paris Olympics and whether there will be any pressure to match the performance of the Tokyo Olympics, Manpreet said, “There is no pressure on us; instead, we are looking forward to enjoying our performance in every match. We should not underestimate any team, irrespective of their ranking. Every team will bring their best to the field and that is what we will do.”

“Our focus is on fulfilling our responsibilities and supporting each other as a cohesive unit. We believe that by concentrating on our game and keeping our composure, we can achieve great results. The important thing is to play with passion and determination and not let pressure hinder our performance.”

Notably, the Indian men’s hockey team left for Mike Horn’s base in Switzerland on Monday where they will undergo a three-day training process designed to instill mental toughness. Following this, the Harmanpreet Singh-led team will travel to the Netherlands for a series of practice matches before arriving in Paris on July 20.

India will be in Group B at the Paris 2024 Olympics along with defending champions Belgium, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and Ireland.

To advance to the Quarter Finals, a team must finish in the top four of their pool. Pool A features the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, South Africa and host nation France, setting the stage for a highly competitive 12-team men’s hockey tournament.

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