The Odisha government on Wednesday announced an award of Rs 2.5 crore for men’s hockey team members Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas and Rs 50 Lakh for women players Deep Grace Ekka and Namita Toppo for their stellar performances at Tokyo Olympics.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also felicitated all the four players at a special ceremony in Kalinga Stadium today.
Notably, the Indian men’s hockey team secured an Olympic medal after gap 41 years, beating European powerhouse Germany 5-4 to secure the bronze in a nail-biting match.
While the women’s team too created history and surpassed all expectations by entering the semifinals of the biggest sporting event for the first time. However, the Indian eves lost 3-4 to Great Britain in a hard-fought bronze play-off and couldn’t achieve a podium finish.
The hockey Olympians received a rousing welcome after landing at the Bhubaneswar airport upon their return from Tokyo.
The players were received at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here by Sports & Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera and the department secretary R Vineel Krishna in presence of fans.
Odisha Hockey Promotion Council Chairman Dilip Tirkey, Abhijit Paul of Odisha Olympic Association, several other officials and members of the public were also present to welcome the players who scripted history at Tokyo.