Indian hockey team striker Mandeep Singh says they are looking forward to winning a medal at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

Given the Hockey India Dhanraj Pillay Forward of the Year 2019 award, Mandeep said, “It is the Olympic year and we as a team have put in a lot of effort to qualify for the Games. We look forward to winning and making our country proud in Tokyo.”

The Hockey India 3rd Annual Awards saw players from the past and present felicitated for their contribution to the game.

“I have never won an award at the Hockey India Annual Awards but always wished to receive one. I have idolised Dhanraj Pillay all my life and it felt truly special to receive the award from him,” said Mandeep. “Cash incentives are always a big motivation and we are happy that Hockey India administration recognises our effort and organised such a grand event to celebrate the sport in the country.”

Former India player Harbinder Singh won the Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award, while current team captains Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal won the Dhruv Batra Player of the Year Award for men and women respectively.

Manpreet also received an award for winning the FIH Men’s Player of the Year 2019, while youngsters Vivek Sagar Prasad and Lalremsiami received an award for winning the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2019 Awards in the men’s and women’s categories respectively.

Rampal was also awarded for winning the World Games Athlete of the Year 2019.

Harmanpreet Singh, who won the Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year, said: “It is important to acknowledge the efforts put in by the team and we are happy that the Hockey India administration recognises our efforts on such a grand scale.”