As Indian Men's Hockey team created history again after 41-year gap, claiming bronze medal by defeating Germany in the Tokyo Olympics, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh congratulated the hockey team and announced to provide team midfielder, Shanglakpam Nilakanta Sharma a suitable state government job along with a cash reward of Rs 75 lakh.
The locals and friends of the Indian Hockey midfielder celebrated the moment of the historic win, soon after the Indian team registered a bronze medal. Many of the childhood friends of Nilakanta came out and shouted slogan saying, “Long Live India, Long Live Manipur, Long Live Nilakanta!"
While congratulating Nilakanta over a video call, the chief minister asked the Indian midfielder if there is anything that he wants from the government apart from the cash reward. Nilakanta responded that he needs a government job which is related to his athletic career.
"I am really proud of you and the team because after 41 years of gap, India has claimed a medal in hockey. Once again, I congratulate you and the Indian hockey team. I personally feel proud of myself for being you belonging to my constituency. I will definitely offer you a suitable job along with cash reward of Rs 75 lakh,” said Biren during the video call with Nilakanta,
The 26-year-old Shanglakpam Nilakanta Sharma is from Kontha Ahallup, a small village at the fringes of Imphal East district. Nilakanta also scored a goal in the Tokyo Olympics in an earlier match. He was a part of the Indian squad that won the 2016 Men's Hockey Junior World Cup.
Nilakanta's father Shanglakpam Inaocha Sharma said, "Emotionally, we lost our hearts when they were defeated at the semi-finals. We were extremely worried, thinking that the Indian team would be returning without any medal. But in today's match, all of them played with maximum effort and it looked as if the team members were playing the final game of their lives. Now, as the team has won the match, all our anxiety and worries have been replaced by the winning medal."
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a cash reward of Rs 1 crore each to Vivek Sagar and Shanglakpam Nilakanta of Indian Men's Hockey team. Both Vivek and Nilakanta were trained at Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy.
It may be mentioned that in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, two hockey players from Manipur represent India. They are former Indian team captain Pukhrambam Sushila Chanu in Women's Indian Hockey Team and Nilakanta in Men's Indian Hockey Team.
Six institutes, five medical colleges selected for setting up of sports science, sports medicine departments in India