Sundergarh, Aug 22: The hockey icons of Odisha Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka and Sunita Toppo were given a rousing welcome in their home district Sudergarh, ‘Odisha’s Hockey Home’.
Accompanied by former India hockey captain Dilip Tirkey, the players reached the Veer Surendra Sai Airport in Jharsuguda around noon on Saturday and were greeted by crowds of locals and elites of the soil.
Amidst beats of drums, traditional tribal folk and cheers, four hockey stars from Odisha, who were part of the Indian hockey teams at the Tokyo Olympics, were given a warm treat in their home district of Sundergarh.
Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka and Sunita Toppo returned to their native villages in Sundergarh district on Saturday after stumping a stupendous victory in the Tokyo Olympics.
Rohidas and Lakra represented the men’s team, while Ekka and Toppo were part of the women’s team.
The men’s team clinched a bronze medal on August 5, defeating Germany 5-4 in a thrilling play-off encounter.
At the same time, the women’s hockey team took the challenge to face Great Britain but narrowly lost defence at the end.