New Delhi, India
Article courtesy of Hockey India
Hockey India today hosted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Dr Thomas Bach for a special Hockey5s mixed team exhibition match at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium which was also attended by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) President H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah, FIH CEO Thierry Weil and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra.
The distinguished guests paid witness to a cultural performance by 40 performers who represented the South, East, West and North regions of the country.
The futuristic and fast-paced hockey five-a-side match was contested between Hockey India Team White and Hockey India Team Blue and was won by Sardar Singh-led Hockey India Team White by a margin of 10-7 as Sardar (2’, 14’ and 19’) scored a hat-trick of goals for the victors.
Armaan Qureshi (10’, 13’), Anupa Barla (14’, 14’), Simranjeet Singh (15’, 18’) and Dipsan Tirkey (19’) were the other goal scorers for the winning team while Ramandeep Singh (4’, 9’, 10’ and 18’) struck four goals for the runners-up. Harjeet Singh (10’) and Sumit Kumar (3’,9’) too scored for Hockey India Blue.
Hockey India has over the past year promoted Hockey5s through their annual National Championships which has elevated the popularity of the new format not just among players but also among spectators who turn up in big numbers to watch the short and exciting format.
The Federation has also developed India’s first ever Hockey5s artificial field in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, where the Indian Junior Men and Women’s team are preparing for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers to be held in Bangkok, Thailand.
OCA President HE Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah presented the runners-up team captained by Renuka Yadav with mementos while IOC President Dr Thomas Bach presented the winning Team with the winners’ trophy.
The match took place on the back of Dr Bach’s visit to the country to meet the newly-elected members of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Executive Board and to discuss his vision for the Indian Olympic Movement.
“Hockey5s is no doubt exciting and can be pulsating for spectators. This version is good to engage spectators and promote the game among those who don’t necessarily follow or watch the conventional 60-minute format. It was good of Hockey India to host the President of IOC Dr Thomas Bach and His Excellency to this very interesting mixed team match today,” stated Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, President Indian Olympic Association and FIH.