The Indian men’s hockey team finished their Tokyo Olympics 2020 campaign with a bronze. They managed to bag a medal at the Games after 41 long years. Once touted as the champion of the game, Team India had been failing to bag a medal in the past four decades at the competition. However, an amazing turnaround in the year 2021 saw the side finishing 3rd.
It was the the self-belief and performance of the players that saw them creating history at the Games. Though India lost to Belgium in the semi-final match, they made sure they secured a bronze by beating Germany. Like all the games India played in the 2021 edition of the Games, this too was a nail-biter but the Indian players showed nerves of steel to seal the game in their favour. Amidst all, one man who stood out with his performance in the game was India’s goalkeeper PR Sreejesh. The star player saved as many as 13 penalties against Germany to see India inching the team 5-4.
PR Sreejesh, an already famous figure, has become a household name now. Even those who don’t know the rules of hockey properly could be seen chanting the name, such terrific was the player’s performance in Tokyo.
Keeping that in mind, here we have shared all the information you need to know about the star Indian goalkeeper:
Name: PR Sreejesh
Born: May 8, 1988
Birthplace: Kizhakkambalam, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight: 90 kg
- Getting his talent being noticed at a tender age by his physical education teacher in the primary school, Sreejesh was a star in the making, however, the category of the sport was not confirmed yet. Later, he moved from Ernakulam to Thiruvananthapuram where he befriended hockey players and his journey to become one of the best goalkeepers in the world started from there. Sreejesh’s quick reflexes saw him turning into a good keeper with every passing day.
- Days passed quickly and Sreejesh soon made his debut for the junior national team in 2004. And around two years later, he was selected for the senior national team. Notably, he was felicitated with the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament award at the 2008 Junior Asia Cup where India had finished as champion.
- He bagged his second Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament award in the 2013 Asia Cup, wherein India finished as runners-up. A year later, he was a member of the Indian team that ended their 2014 Commonwealth Games with a silver medal.
- Sreejesh was also a part of the Indian team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and then World Cup in 2014.
- From 2014 to 2016, Sreejesh certainly was at the peak of his game. While he was the star of India’s gold medal win at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. He bagged the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award in the Champions Trophy in the same year. In the 2018 Champions Trophy too, Sreejesh bagged the same award.
- In 2016, Sreejesh was handed the captaincy duties. Under him, Team India clinched a silver at Men's Hockey Champions Trophy and also entered the quarterfinals of the Rio Olympics before his sensational game in 2021 could end the 41-year-old medal drought for India in the game at Olympics.
- Sreejesh is a recipient of Padma Shri - the fourth highest civilian award. He had received the honour in 2017 for his exploits in the field of sports. Two years prior to this, he had received the Arjuna Award.