Bhubaneswar, Dec 15:
India may not have finished on the podium in the hockey Champions Trophy, but the Indian players displayed tremendous skills throughout the eight-nation tournament with four of them bagging individual awards.
India, who finished fourth, went down 1-2 to Australia in the bronze medal match at the Kalinga Stadium Sunday. Germany beat Pakistan 2-0 to lift the trophy for the 10th time.
However, Indian vice-captain P.R. Sreejesh, who stood like a wall in the Indian goal, was awarded ‘Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament’, while senior striker S.V. Sunil walked away with the “Most energetic Player of the Tournament’ award.
Indian captain Sardar Singh, who played a stellar role in wins over the Netherlands and Belgium, was a favourite with the fans and the centre-half got their favour with the ‘Fan’s Choice’ award.
Young striker Akashdeep Singh, who made his presence felt in the meet, bagged the ‘Best Junior Player of the Tournament’ award.
“Our players played well in the tournament. As a result, we finished fourth. We really made progress playing against the world’s best seven teams. Now, we will have to work hard for the Olympics and the World Cup,” said India’s high performance director and interim chief coach Roelant Oltmans.
German co-captain Moritz Furste was adjudged ‘Best Player of the Tournament’ while Dutch star striker Jeroen Herztberger scored the maximum number of goals.
A total of 107 goals were scored in 24 matches, which included an incredible 29 in the four games on the second day of the competition while the tournament average was 4.46 goals per game, according to the International Hockey Federation (FIH). (IANS)