A day after Odisha government announced a cash award of Rs 5 lakh each to players and staff members of Indian Men's Hockey Team, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said Odia defender Amit Rohidas will also be given an additional Rs 1.5 crore for his role in country's historic gold win at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Congratulating the Indian men's hockey team for winning gold at the Asian Games, Patnaik expressed his heartfelt congratulations to Amit Rohidas, acknowledging his outstanding performance and calling him an "inspiration" for youngsters not only across Odisha but also throughout India.
"Amit Rohidas' remarkable achievements exemplify the spirit of perseverance and excellence. He has become a symbol of hope and pride for aspiring athletes in our state and beyond. His success story resonates with every individual striving to achieve greatness, and we are immensely proud of his accomplishments," Patnaik said in a statement.
Describing Amit Rohidas as a "true son of the soil" from the hockey-rich region of Sundergarh in Odisha, Patnaik said he (Rohidas) had proudly earned himself an Olympic Bronze Medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Amit Rohidas, a product of Odisha's rich sporting culture, honed his exceptional skills at the Panposh Sports Hostel in Rourkela. With an impressive track record of over 150 caps, Rohidas emerged as an integral cog in India's campaign in Hangzhou, serving as the first rusher and displaying remarkable strategic acumen. His pivotal goal in the semi-final against South Korea propelled the Indian team towards the final and the coveted gold medal, a senior sports department official said.
After Kishore Jena's historic feat in javelin throw where he won a silver medal, Amit Rohidas becomes the second Odia to finish on the podium at this edition of the Asian Games. Jena was also rewarded with a cash prize of Rs 1.5 crore for his achievement.
In regards to the cash award for the Indian Men’s Hockey Team, the official said that the reward will be given in recognition of their stellar performance to win the coveted gold medal and seal a berth in the Paris Olympics 2024.
The chief minister also spoke to the team over video call after the medal ceremony on Friday.
"My heartiest congratulations to the victorious Indian men's hockey team. Their unwavering dedication and hard work have once again proven that hockey is truly India's game, embodying our nation's unyielding spirit," Patnaik said.
"In Odisha, where hockey holds a special place in our hearts, this historic day will forever be etched in our memories as a momentous triumph for our beloved sport and our nation. I wish the Indian team the very best as they prepare for the Paris Olympic Games," he added.
Skipper Harmanpreet Singh led admirably as the Indian men's hockey team mauled defending champions Japan 5-1 to reclaim the Asian Games gold in Hangzhou in China, their fourth in the continental showpiece, after nine years.
The Odisha government has been the sponsor for the Indian hockey teams since 2018 and it will continue till 2033. The state government on Saturday issued full-page advertisements in local and national newspapers to congratulate Indian Men’s Hockey team for the Gold medal in the 19th Asian games.
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