MITHAPUR LAD and captain of the Indian hockey workforce Manpreet Singh (29) has been named India’s flag bearer alongwith London Olympics bronze medallist boxer Mary Kom for the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, to be held later this month. Singh, who has develop into the primary Indian hockey participant to be the flag bearer on the Olympics after former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh (1996 Atlanta Olympics), by the way belongs to the identical village as Pargat — Mithapur in Jalandhar.
The mid-fielder turns into solely the sixth Indian hockey participant to be named the flag bearer of the Indian contingent for the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Earlier, Lal Singh Bokhari (1932 Los Angeles Olympics), Main Dhyan Chand (1936 Munich Olympics), Balbir Singh Senior (1952 Helsinki Olympics and 1956 Melbourne Olympics), Zafar Iqbal (1984 Olympics) and Pargat Singh (1996 Olympics) had the honour.
Singh, who has performed in 259 worldwide matches for India, began enjoying hockey on the insistence of his father Baljit Singh and elder brothers Amandeep Singh and Sukhraj Singh on the hockey stadium at Mithapur. The teenager would make his debut for the Indian senior workforce in 2011. Singh performed within the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2016. His father handed away earlier than the beginning of the event and the mid-fielder rejoined the workforce after the funeral. The Indian workforce went on to win a bronze.
On Monday, Singh stated his late father would have been very proud. “My father would usually accompany me and my brothers to the hockey floor at our village and he would all the time encourage me to play my greatest. I want he was alive to see this proud second for me. He will likely be watching me from the heavens and will likely be inspiring me and the entire workforce. I had a chat with my mom Manjeet Kaur at present and he or she too stated the identical factor,” shared an emotional Singh.
Mithapur has a historical past of manufacturing worldwide hockey gamers with Swarup Singh, a member of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics gold medal successful Indian hockey workforce, Kulwant Singh, member of the bronze medal successful Indian hockey workforce in 1972 Olympics, other than Pargat Singh, captain and member of the Indian Hockey workforce in 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Alongwith Manpreet Singh, one other Mithapur lad Mandeep Singh can be member of the Indian hockey workforce for the Tokyo Olympics. Earlier, Manpreet had received the Worldwide Hockey Federation’s (FIH) participant of the yr award final yr. Singh had develop into the primary Indian participant to win the award. Whereas Pargat Singh performed in three Olympics (1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympics), Tokyo Olympics will likely be Manpreet’s third Olympics after he performed in 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics.
“My brothers and I heard tales about Swarup Singh and Kulwant Singh sir from my father and grew up listening to and watching Pargat sir on the village hockey floor. Pargat sir retains encouraging us and to emulate him is a giant motivation for me,” stated Singh.