Feat for hockey star
Rourkela: Anand Lakra, a member of the India "A" team that secured fourth place in the Australian Hockey League held in Perth from September 28 to October 8, is set to join the national camp.
Lakra, who is from the Rourkela Steel Plant's SAIL Hockey Academy, played a stellar role in the midfield and as a centre back as the team finished fourth after they lost 2-3 to New South Wales in a well-fought match.
His coaches, batch mates and juniors are happy at his progress. An extremely happy Peter Tirkey, coach of the academy here and the first Odia to represent the country, said: "I felt proud when he walked into the stadium as part of the Indian 'A' team."
"The boys here are very enthusiastic about Lakra and his performances, and this has certainly encouraged them. Now the boys, who have adopted Lakra as their role model, know that with the excellent facilities here they can scale to heights of glory and represent the country," he said. "When we see Anand bhai on the screen, we feel proud," said Muna, who trains at the academy.
Lakra was part of the Junior India Hockey team in the Test series held in Australia from September 7 to 15 last year. He had also represented the Indian team in the four-nation hockey championships held in Spain in October last year where the India emerged champion.
Deputy manager (sports) of the Rourkela Steel Plant Abinash Khatua, a former east zone cricket player, was elated about Lakra and his achievements. "We are all proud here for his success," said Khatua.
The talented youngster has received the Rourkela Steel Plant's Distinguished Sportsperson Award three years in a row now.