Paris Olympics: Month-long countdown begins for India men’s hockey team

Sreejesh, Manpreet Singh set for fourth Games; skipper Harmanpreet lined up for his third

Indian hockey squad with Craig Fulton, the national team coach. (photo: Hockey India)
Indian hockey squad with Craig Fulton, the national team coach. (photo: Hockey India)

NH Sports Bureau

The India men’s hockey team, which ended a 41-year-old medal drought in the Olympics with a bronze at Tokyo 2020, will once again have a billion hopes riding on them when they kick off their campaign in Paris exactly a month from now. The Harmanpreet Singh-led squad, named on Wednesday, will open against New Zealand on 27 July, followed by Argentina on 29 July.

They will then face Ireland and gold medallists Belgium on the 30th of July and 1st of August, respectively, with their final group stage game against Australia on the 2nd of August. India is placed in Pool B and must secure a top-four finish in their pool to progress to the quarter-finals.

Pool A, meanwhile, comprises the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, South Africa, and host nation France, setting the stage for a highly competitive 12-team field.

India, which boasts of a rich Olympic history in the sport with 12 medals in all (eight gold, one silver and three bronze medals), have assembled a squad rich in experience as well as promise – both goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and midfielder Manpreet Singh set for their fourth Games in a row. Manpreet, incidentally, led the campaign in Tokyo.

Harmanpreet, their star defender and drag flicker, is set to play in his third Olympics, having made his debut as the youngest member of the squad at the 2016 Rio Olympics and contributing to the bronze finish in Tokyo.

The five Olympic debutants in the squad, which had been training at the national camp at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru, are Jarmanpreet Singh, Sanjay, Raj Kumar Pal, Abhishek and Sukhjeet Singh.  

Speaking to the Hockey India media, chief coach Craig Fulton said: ‘’The selection process was incredibly competitive due to the depth of talent within our ranks, however, I am confident that every player chosen will bring their best to Paris.’’ 

“As we head to Paris, our goal is clear – to play with heart, skill, and determination. We are prepared to face the world’s best teams and strive for the highest podium. This squad is ready to seize the opportunity and bring glory to India. We are confident in our abilities and excited about the journey ahead,’’ the former South Africa international said. 


Goalkeeper: Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran.

Defenders: Jarmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Harmanpreet Singh, Sumit, Sanjay.

Midfielders: Rajkumar Pal, Shamsher Singh, Manpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad.      

Forwards: Abhishek, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh.

Alternate athletes: Nilakanta Sharma, Jugraj Singh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak.

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