NEW DELHI: Indian males’s hockey crew midfielder Nilakanta Sharma hopes his contribution to the nation’s bronze medal-winning feat on the Tokyo Olympics will encourage a era of kids from his dwelling state Manipur to take up the game professionally.
Nilakanta was an important cog in India’s midfield in Tokyo, the place the nation ended a 41-year-old Olympic medal drought.
Earlier than Tokyo, India’s final medal — a gold — got here within the 1980 Moscow Games.
“Undoubtedly there’s a whole lot of potential for Manipur hockey to develop additional. Lots of good issues are occurring within the state and the emphasis is on creating good infrastructure. I hope my efficiency in Tokyo has impressed extra kids from my state to take up hockey,” the 26-year-old stated in a Hockey India launch.
Nilakanta, who was promoted to the senior rank in 2017, a 12 months after successful the FIH Junior World Cup in Lucknow, believes the important thing to success for a participant is steady enchancment.
He’s focusing on extra laurels subsequent 12 months.
“I’ve had a while to introspect about my very own efficiency over these previous few years with the senior crew. I feel I’ve been very lucky to have performed together with a number of the finest gamers in India and have been in a position to be taught rather a lot from them.
“I all the time prefer to maintain issues easy and execute what is predicted of me. Every participant is assigned a sure position by the coach and I simply attempt to follow it,” he stated.
“I imagine there’s a whole lot of scope for me to enhance my very own recreation from right here on and construct on this efficiency in Tokyo. It was completely an unimaginable feeling to win the bronze medal.”
On a break after the success in Tokyo, Nilakanta is raring to regroup together with his teammates on the SAI Centre in Bengaluru when the nationwide camp begins subsequent month.
“We are going to now sit down as a crew and analyse our efficiency within the Olympics. I personally like these crew conferences as a result of everybody contributes and will get to place throughout their views.
“We focus on what labored for us as a crew and what did not. Additionally, there’s a lot to be taught from the management group which incorporates the senior gamers,” he stated.

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