Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], August 6 (ANI): Odisha Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behra on Friday said the performance of the Indian hockey teams in Tokyo will inspire future generations and promised them a grand welcome back home.
"Indian women's hockey team lost the Bronze medal match but it won the hearts of millions of Indians. There will be a grand welcome for both the men's and women's hockey teams. The performance of both the teams will inspire future generations," said Behra in a tweet.
The minister also said that the development of hockey infrastructure in Odisha and help offered by the state government has benefited Indian Hockey.
"Over the last few years, infrastructure development in Odisha and help offered under the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has created immense potential in youngsters, be it the grassroots coaching, sponsorships of training camps. It will help youngsters aspiring to play at National and International levels. For five years, the state government has sponsored the Indian team. This sponsorship will continue and I hope it will boost the morale of players," said the minister.
Talking about the players from the state, Behra added: "Two players each in men and women's team are representing the country at national and international level. Sundergarh, a tribal-dominated area has a lot of well-accomplished players, including Dilip Tirkey, the former captain of Team India. The Chief Minister declared that the 2023 World Cup of Hockey will be hosted in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. Hockey is a way of life, a culture in Sundergarh."
An international stadium will be built in Rourkela as per the minister.
Indian women's hockey team went down fighting against Great Britain 3-4 in the bronze medal match at Oi Hockey Stadium, North Pitch on Friday. With this loss, the team finished fourth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Indian Men's Hockey team won a Bronze medal on Wednesday after defeating Germany 5-4. (ANI)