Star Hockey Defender From Odisha Birendra Lakra Announces Retirement; Read His Post Here

Bhubaneswar: Olympic bronze medallist and star defender from Odisha, Birendra Lakra has announced his retirement from the Indian national team, Hockey India tweeted on Thursday.

In a Facebook post, Birendra wrote: “I have decided to retire from the Indian Hockey team. The thought of not being able to share the dressing room again with some of the most fantastic players is unimaginable at the moment but I wish my teammates the very best as they prepare to take Indian hockey to the next level with just three years left in this Olympic cycle.”

Read his complete post here:

He along with Harmanpreet Singh was the vice-captains of the 16-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team lead by midfielder Manpreet Singh for the Tokyo Olympics. The Indian men’s hockey team rewrote history as it claimed an Olympic medal after 41 years, beating a plucky Germany 5-4 to claim the bronze in an edge-of-the-seat play-off match.

Birendra, who made his Olympic debut in the 2012 London Games, had to wait long for his second Olympic appearance after missing the 2016 Rio Games owing to a ligament tear in his right knee.

Also Read: Odisha Hockey Stars Birendra Lakra & Amit Rohidas Achieve Unique Milestones

A veteran of 201 international matches, the 31-year-old had been a vital cog in India’s defence over the last couple of years.

Also Read:  Odisha’s Unassuming Birendra Lakra Sets Sights On Tokyo Podium Finish

Birendra has been a part of the Indian team which has won several laurels over the past few years — 2014 Asian Games gold medal, 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medal, 2017 Asia Cup winner, 2018 Asian Champions Trophy champion, 2018 Champions Trophy silver, 2018 Asian Games bronze, 2019 FIH Series Final winner.

Earlier in the day, drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh had also announced his international retirement “to make way for youngsters”.

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